While even-money favorite Camelia Rose seemingly cried out for racing
room at the rail, California-bred Chokecherymary enjoyed smooth sailing
while rallying wide to take Thursday’s $71,500 Westside Story Purse by a
scant nose over the French-bred favorite.
“I was in a perfect position going to the 3 ½ (furlong pole),
but I knew the favorite was going to make a good run, so I wanted to get
the first jump on her,” said winning jockey Rafael Bejarano.
And so it was, as Chokecherymary did get first run while Camelia
Rose under Joel Rosario, was stymied until inside the eighth pole. The
favorite battled gamely at the rail, but the winner had momentum and a
perfect head bob in her corner, getting the 1 1/8 miles on turf in
Trained by Gary Mandella, Chokecherymary paid $12.20, $4.20 and
$2.80. Highly regarded Camelia Rose, who was making her U.S. debut,
paid $2.80 and $2.20. Thisismystage, under Victor Espinoza, paid $2.40
A deep closer, Chokecherymary notched her second win in a row, as she took the California-bred Valentine’s Dancer on Jan. 28.
“My plan is to keep her with Cal-breds as best I can,” said
Mandella. “However, given the fact she won today going a mile and one
eighth, we’ll take a good look at the (Grade II) Santa Ana (to be run
March 25) before we make a decision. I think the filly we beat today
will be one of the horses to beat in that race, so we’ll have to think
With the winner’s share of $46,800, Chokecherymary, a 4-year-old
filly by Capsized, who is owned by Steve and Sue Woskow, saw her
bankroll zoom to $219,278. her career record is now 4-2-1 from 10
The Westside Story was the next-to-last leg in Thursday’s Pick
Six and the betting was robust. Fans wagered $964,066 into today’s Pick
Six and that, coupled with a $135,405 carryover from Sunday, resulted
in a total pool of $1,099,471.
Short-priced winners abounded in races three through six,
resulting in win payoffs of $4.60, $5.00, $4.80 and $5.60. The biggest
upset of the day came in race eight, Sunland Vintage, under Mario
Gutierrez, paid $56.20.
There were 37 winning Pick Six tickets, which each paid $17,578.
There is a Super High 5 carryover into Friday of $36,124.