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Bright Thought Rolls Home at Santa Anita

Leaving little doubt that there are bigger fish to fry, Bright Thought, dominant in winning Santa Anita’s Super Bowl Party Starter Handicap on Feb. 3, registered an emphatic three-peat on Thursday, taking Santa Anita’s fifth race, a first condition allowance for older horses at 1 ¼ miles on turf, by 5 ¼ lengths while getting the distance under Rafael Bejarano in 1:57.86.

As he did in the one-mile turf “Super Bowl,” Bright Thought, who had never run farther than a mile and a sixteenth, was sent to the lead by Bejarano through fractions of 23.36, 47.06, 1:11.05 and 1:34.25 and opened up a 5 ½ length advantage at the top of the stretch.

“I had so much horse,” said Bejarano of the 3-2 favorite. “I didn’t want to fight him, so I let him go a little early around the far turn. He’s so good right now and he won real easy.”

Winning trainer Jorge Gutierrez, who got the horse following a winning effort (the horse was later disqualified from purse money) at Penn National on Jan. 11, is ready to send Bright Thought into stakes competition.

“I’m kind of debating whether to go in the mile and a half race in March (Grade II San Louis Rey on March 16) or the San Juan Capistrano on closing day,” said Gutierrez. “It’s one of the two. That’s kind of the plan.”

Bright Thought, a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred colt by the Sunday Silence stallion Hat Trick, paid $5.00, $2.60 and $2.60. With the winner’s share of $34,800, he increased his bankroll to $74,500. He now has three wins from six starts and is owned by Marjorie Dye and Alex Venneri Racing, Inc.

French-bred Saint Loup, the second choice in the nine-horse field at 9-5, was clearly second best under Martin Pedroza and finished two lengths in front of longshot Toruk Makto and Victor Espinoza.

Saint Loup paid $3.00 and $3.00.

Toruk Makto, off at 10-1, paid $4.20 to show.



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