Race is part of Ctba sponsored Golden State Series
ARCADIA, Calif. – Classy Warren’s Showtime overcame a pedestrian pace and rallied from last to take Saturday’s $100,000 California Distaff Handicap for owner/breeders Ben and Sally Warren and trainer Craig Lewis. An ultra-consistent chestnut filly by top sire Clubhouse Ride, Warren’s Showtime, in her first try down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course, got about 6 ½ furlongs under Juan Hernandez in 1:13. 76.
Last after the first half mile but only about four lengths off the lead, Warren’s Showtime, who was shortening up out of five consecutive turf miles, loomed ominously as the field made the dirt crossing at the top of the lane and sliced her way through traffic in what was to become her seventh career stakes victory.
“I wasn’t confident when I saw the first quarter, but I could see Juan was confident, so that gave me some hope,” said Lewis, who also conditioned millionaire Clubhouse Ride and Warren’s Showtime’s Grade I winning dam, Warren’s Veneda.” (It) made me think maybe. Once she got into gear, I knew she’d get there…Another Clubhouse Ride, they just run.”
Overlayed at 2-1 off her morning line of 9-5 in a field of six fillies and mares, Warren’s Showtime paid $6. 80, $3. 80 and $2. 80.
With the Distaff winner’s share of $60,000, Warren’s Showtime boosted her earnings to $775,431 from an overall mark of 22-8-2-10.
“I knew the pace wasn’t that fast, but she was in the bridle and pulling,” said Hernandez, who has been aboard for her last nine races.” That’s the way she likes to run and she came with a big run today. She’s a nice filly, very consistent.”
The Warrens, who came in from their Las Vegas base to watch today’s Distaff, were understandably elated with their homebred star.
“It’s just been unbelievable and (Ben) has had so many horses, but not one that has been so consistent as ‘Showtime,’” said Sally Warren.” We were just saying, 19 out of 21 starts and she’s hit the board and that’s unbelievable…We are really, really thankful. Craig picked her out at the farm, now we know (why).”
Although it was expected that speedy Anna Fantastic would make the early lead, most observers felt she’d be pressed by eventual favorite Bella Vita through quick early splits, but with Bella Vita taking a more conservative approach, moderate hillside fractions of 22. 90, 45. 99 and 1:08. 14 resulted and it was Sedamar, who was second to the dirt crossing, who prevailed for the place by a half-length over Anna Fantastic.
Ridden by Joe Bravo, Sedamar was off at 7-1 and paid $6. 60 and $4. 40.
Anna Fantastic, off at 4-1 with Edwin Maldonado up, paid $3. 60 to show while finishing 2 ¼ lengths clear of even money favorite Bella Vita.
The California Distaff Handicap is part of the lucrative CTBA sponsored Golden State Series for eligible California-bred or sired fillies and mares three and up.
The Distaff marked win number two on the day with two races remaining for Hernandez, giving him 10 for the meet—fiveback of Flavien Prat, who has 15 wins through nine racing days.
First post time for a nine-race card on Sunday is at 1 p. m.
For info on the Best Breeders’ Cup Seminar click HERE.
Mike Willman/Santa Anita Press Office
Photo: Warren’s Showtime (Benoit)