McCann’s Mojave, who was euthanized due to colic at the age of 13 Friday, was at rest Saturday honored with the distinction of having sired another last-race juvenile winner at Santa Anita while also anchoring a natural four-win day for jockey Corey Nakatani.
The multiple graded stakes winner of more than $1.5 million, owned by Santa Anita Publicity Director Mike Willman, sired Eddie’s Turn, a grey-hued first-time starter that won Saturday’s 10th race by a half-length at a $24.20 payoff. The win marked the second day in a row that McCann’s Mojave sired a 2-year-old maiden winner of the last race and (unbelievably) the second day in a row the winner was owned and bred by Howard and Janet Siegel and trained by Eddie Truman.
The win was the fourth in a row by Nakatani, who won the seventh race—the California Distaff Handicap—aboard Qiaona ($19.60); the eighth on Door’s Open ($12.60); the ninth on Empty Headed ($8); and the 10th and final aboard Eddie’s Turn. Nakatani tied for Santa Anita’s Autumn Meet riding lead with Rafael Bejarano and Mike Smith at nine wins each.
“Corey must have had his confidence rolling by the time he rode my horse,” said a self-effacing Truman, who trains Eddie’s Turn for owners/breeders Howard and Janet Siegel. “They named the horse for me, so that made it even more special.
“It was a tough race (there were 12 runners in the six furlong maiden allowance test for 2-year-olds), but I thought he’d run well, if he wasn’t too green. We had the right rider on, that’s for sure. Corey was riding with confidence after winning three in a row.
“It was nice that Howard and Janet bred the horse to Mike’s stallion,” Truman said. “It was a team effort. The whole backside was involved.”
Nakatani topped yesterday’s four-bagger in 2012 at Belmont Park when he won six consecutive races. Nakatani’s Late Pick 3 payoff yesterday was worth 1,166.50; the late daily double, $185, and the late 50 cent Pick Four $4,104.05. A native of Covina who celebrates his 43rd birthday on Oct. 21, Nakatani single-handedly accounted for today’s Pick six carryover of $91,551.
“I’m glad to be back with Corey,” said agent Tony Matos, who had Nakatani when he was Southern California’s leading apprentice rider some 25 years ago. “Uncle Buck (Nakatani’s former agent, Jim Pegram) did a very good job with him but Corey’s been trying to get back with me for a couple years. I just never had an opening. Corey’s a great rider and we’re glad to be back together.”