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Akkadian Wins Santa Anita Grass Feature

With a fast pace to take advantage of, Garrett Gomez and Akkadian came wheeling three-wide off the turn for home to easily win Santa Anita’s $65,000 Russian River Purse on Thursday, getting one mile on turf in 1:33.88 while besting Clubhouse Ride and Aaron Gryder by three quarters of a length.

Although Gomez hadn’t ridden the 5-year-old Tiznow gelding in 21 months, he was comfortable with the task at hand.

“I knew there was plenty of speed, but I was kinda surprised they went as fast as they did,” said Gomez. “I broke his maiden and would have stayed with him but I went to Kentucky to ride (full-time, in April, 2011). My main concern today was to make sure he was traveling well within himself and to be able to find room when we needed it.

“When we got to the far turn he started picking them up and he went on with it. If he continues to progress he could be one of those top turf horses at a mile or a mile and a quarter.”

Trained by Julio Canani, Akkadian sat well off fractions of 22.36, 45.77, 1:09.92 and 1:21.98. Off at 5-1, he paid $12.40, $7.20 and $4.80.

“The race set up like I thought it would,” said Canani. “I knew there was going to be speed in the race. When he ran last time (Dec. 8, at Betfair Hollywood Park), the (turf) track was very deep. It had rained the night before and he hates a deep track. Today, thank God, it drizzled, and was very windy but the track is great.”

With the winner’s share of $39,000, Akkadian ran his bankroll to $208,522 from a record of 15-4-4-0.

Like the winner, Clubhouse Ride rallied from off the pace with Gryder skimming the rail on the turn for home and finishing a half-length in front of Golden Itiz and Joe Talamo. Clubhouse Ride paid $7.00 and $4.40.

Golden Itiz, the longest shot in the eight-horse field at 27-1, paid $13.00 to show.

Willyconker, the 2-1 favorite with Martin Pedroza, ran fourth with a clean trip and was outfinished by the top three.

There were two winning tickets in Thursday’s Pick Six, paying $21,852, with one of them purchased on-track, which will result in a 20 percent bonus of $4,370—making for a total score of $26,222.40. The one winning on-track ticket was purchased for $32.00.

With no carryover, Santa Anita’s 20 percent on-track Pick Six Bonus will again be in effect on Friday. Friday’s Pick Six is comprised of races three through eight. In order for on-track fans to be eligible for the 20 percent bonus, they must join Santa Anita’s Thoroughbreds Club and scan their membership card prior to making all Pick Six wagers.

 

 

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