Photo: Benoit Photo
The Bruce Headley trained, owned and bred Cyclometer
broke slowly but proved best in Saturday’s $75,000 Midnight Lute Stakes at Santa Anita, rallying to win by three quarters of a length under Mike Smith while getting six furlongs in a rapid 1:08.95.
“It was a little eventful leaving the gate, to be honest,” said Smith, who had just won the Grade II Santa Ynez Stakes in gate to wire fashion. “A horse acted up and my horse rocked back a bit so we spotted everyone a jump at the start. I still got away in good order…so I was just hoping I was two jumps better than (pace-setting) Anillo because I had already given him one.
“Cyclometer was really on his game today. In the stretch, I could only mess it up, at that point. I just kept hand-riding him, and it was working.”
The second choice in the four-horse Midnight Lute at 8-5, came off a second place finish in the statebred On Trust Handicap at Hollywood Park going 7 ½ furlongs. With no show wagering, he paid $5.20 and $2.60.
Headley, along with co-owners and breeders Irwin and Andrew Molasky, picked up $59,700 for the win, boosting 6-year-old Cyclometer’s earnings to $330,254. He now has five wins from 17 starts.
Moonshine Bay, who broke from the rail with Gary Stevens, pressed Anillo into and around the turn, finishing second, one length in front of the pacesetter as the 3-1 third choice. He paid $3.60 to place.
Anillo, ridden by Edwin Maldonado, bobbled a bit leaving the gate and tired late while finishing 1 ¼ lengths in front of even money favorite Midnight Transfer and Rafael Bejarano.
Midnight Transfer, idle since running fifth in the Grade II Mervyn LeRoy Handicap May 4, was never a factor.
Fractions on the race were 22.58, 45.22 and 56.97.