By virtue of a dominant 2 ½ length gate to wire allowance victory on
Friday, getting six furlongs in a rapid 1:08.61, Florida-bred Distinctiv Passion
stamped himself as a soon-to-be 3-year-old to watch in the New
Year at Santa Anita.
Ridden by Edwin Maldonado, Distinctiv Passion was in complete
control throughout, setting fractions of 21.66, 44.28 and 56.03, all the
while totally discouraging 4-5 favorite Super Ninety Nine, who never
threatened and ended up fourth under Martin Garcia.
With two consecutive six furlong wins to his credit, the
question is, how far can the son of With Distinction carry his inherent
“He has a full brother that has won going a mile and one eighth
at Calder (Racecourse, in south Florida),” said Mersad Metanvic, Racing
Manager for trainer Jeff Bonde. “Today was a big test. We’ll stay here
at Santa Anita and run seven furlongs or a mile in a stakes race next
Maldonado was impressed with the way his mount handled himself on the front end.
“He was relaxed in his last race (a front-running maiden special
weight win on Nov. 25), but today he was better. I was confident that
if he got a clean break, this would be an easy race for him,” said
The second choice in the wagering at 3-1, Distinctiv Passion
paid $8.20, $5.40 and $6.60. With the winner’s share of $34,800, he
hiked his bankroll to $74,400, from a record of 4-2-0-1. He is owned by
Brown, Jr., A.P. Klein or Lebherz.
Disarm, the second-longest price under Joe Talamo at 24-1,
showed good speed and laid second to the winner throughout, finishing 3 ¼
lengths in front of Mico Margarita and paid $15.80 and $8.60.
Mico Margarita, ridden by Corey Nakatani, finished 2 ¼ lengths in front of Super Ninety Nine and paid $5.40 to show.