They raced 1 ½ miles in Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Tokyo City
Cup, and after the field bunched rounding the Santa Anita marathon’s far
turn, only a neck separated victorious Dynamic Host from runner-up
Dhaamer at the finish line.
The two steadily separated themselves from the others entering
the stretch with 5-1 Dynamic Host, who had rallied from last under David
Flores, taking over. Irish-import Dhaamer, the 5-2 second choice,
determinedly closed the gap. But Dynamic Host was steadfast while
crossing the wire in 2:30.22 on the “fast” main track.
In the end, it was 4 ¼ lengths back to third-place Skipshot and
another 13 ¼ back to fourth-place Eldaafer. Twice the Appeal, the 9-5
favorite, wound up sixth, 27 lengths behind the winner.
A son of Dynaformer, a distinguished sire of grass runners with
distance capabilities, Dynamic Host had won at 1 3/8 miles on turf, but
had raced only once over a dirt surface. He finished second going one
mile at the Sacramento Fair in July of last year.
Dhaamer -- making his first U.S. start after 11 races in
Ireland; 10 on grass, one on synthetic footing – had no dirt surface
experience, but under the guidance of Rafael Bejarano for trainer Mike
Mitchell demonstrated his marathon potential in this country.
Art Sherman, who trains Dynamic Host for Zvika Akin, Greg Avery
and Bill Wilbur, indicated a return to grass could be in order while
citing the historic Grade II San Juan Capistrano Handicap at 1 ¾ miles
on closing day, April 22.
“He was hanging in there tough through the stretch,” Sherman
said in review of Saturday’s showing by his 6-year-old gelding. “He
impressed me with his gameness, but sometimes he likes to hang. I was
getting a little nervous. It was an absolutely wonderful ride by David
“The horse showed a lot of heart. Sometimes, David would tell
me, he’d get next to a horse and kind of just want to go with it. But he
really bore down this time. I was happy. He could go either way (dirt
or grass in his next start). We could take a look at the San Juan. I’ll
see how he comes out of the race and how he’s training.”
“I had an excellent trip,” Flores said. “He broke slow like he
always does, so I wasn’t worried about it. He jumped into the bit the
first time we got to the first stretch, so I had to take control of him.
“On the second turn, I let him get comfortable and he moved up
to the leaders. I had to work hard from the turn onwards because he’s
lazy when he gets the lead. He’s got the ability to go that far, so the
distance of the race was on our side. I had great position in the race,
and I took advantage of that. I’m glad we came out in front.”
his first win in five starts for Sherman since being claimed for
$40,000 last August at Del Mar, Dynamic Host paid $13, $5.80 and $3.60.
Dhaamer returned $4.40 and $3.80. Skipshot, ridden by Kevin Krigger,
paid $4.80 to show. The winning purse of $60,000 elevated the career
earnings of Dynamic Host to $217,528.
The 9th running of the $30,000 March Madness Starter
Handicap went to 5-2 favorite Unusual Jazz, who defeated Best Verse by 1
¼ lengths while covering 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:47.03. The winner,
ridden by Alonso Quinonez, paid $7.20.