With a blistering early pace to take advantage of, Sahara Sky
Joe Talamo up, came roaring from far off the pace to take Saturday’s
Grade II, $200,000 San Carlos Stakes by three quarters of a length,
covering seven furlongs in 1:21.28.
As Comma to the Top and Justin Phillip ding-donged through
fractions of 22.11, 43.88 and 1:08.09, Talamo was content to lag far
back early in the field of eight.
“They had a real hot pace,” said Talamo. “It really set up good
for us today. I’ll tell you what, this horse is one of those that only
gets better with age…He runs well fresh. It was going so fast up there
and they stopped pretty good for us, but my horse was really running
the last part.”
As Comma to the Top and Edwin Maldonado opened up a length on
Justin Phillip and Mike Smith at the top of the lane, Sahara Sky,
trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, was in high gear four-wide and at the
sixteenth pole, there was little doubt he would prevail.
“He got a good trip and it was just about a perfect ride, you
might say. I hope he can maintain it (good form). He sure is a good
Fresh off victory at 21-1 in the Grade II Palos Verdes Stakes
going six furlongs on Jan. 19, Sahara Sky proved that win was no fluke
and improved his overall mark to an outstanding 14-6-2-4. With the
winner’s share of $120,000, his earnings now stand at $356,680.
“This horse is a different horse this year,” said Kim Lloyd, who
races as Sweetwater Stable and owns the 5-year-old in partnership with
Hollendorfer. “He’s run well all the time, but he would put so much
into his races when he was fresh that he didn’t seem to have that same
finish in his subsequent races. He’s matured now though and he’s firing
back to back. He might be a pretty good horse.”
Runner-up Capital Account, last past the half mile pole with
David Flores, unleashed a big stretch rally and finished a head in front
of Comma to the Top. Off at 5-1 Capital Account paid $5.80 and $4.40.
Comma to the Top, who broke from the rail and never got a
breather, stayed well but had to settle for third, 2 ¼ lengths in front
of Drill and Julien Leparoux. Comma to the Top, off at 6-1, paid $5.00
Heavy favorite The Lumber Guy, ridden by Garrett Gomez, was
dispatched at 9-5 and sat third, five lengths off the pace passing
the half mile pole and had no punch through the lane.
“I had a perfect trip,” said Gomez. “He traveled beautifully,
but when the running started, the horse never came up underneath me.
We’ll have to go back to the drawing board.”
The win in the San Carlos was the first for both Hollendorfer and Talamo.
There is a Pick Six carryover of $101,001 into Sunday at Santa Anita. It is expected Sunday’s total pool will exceed $750,000.