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Jeranimo Unleashes Strong Rally in Eddie Read

Wright and LaPenta’s seven-year-old Jeranimo, sent postward the 5-2 favorite in an outstanding field of  grass campaigners, unleashed a brilliant burst of speed in the stretch under jockey Rafael Bejarano to win Saturday’s featured Grade I $300,000 Eddie Read Stakes.

Outrun in his customary style during the early stages of the nine-furlong race over the infield turf course, Jeranimo rallied dramatically  to score a 1 1/2 length victory in a flossy 1:45.80 for the distance, a second slower than the course record of 1:44.79 set by Aragorn in the 2006 Read. The winner’s final furlong was clocked in 11.37 seconds.

Irish-bred Vagabond Shoes, a 23-1 outsider ridden by Victor Espinoza, closed strongly to  be second, a half-length in front of 37-1 Fly Lexis Fly, with Fed Biz, who carved out swift fractions in a duel with Slim Shadey, fading to fourth another 1 1/2 lengths farther back.

Jeranimo, a son of Congaree trained by Mike Pender, was runner-up two summers ago in the Read to Del Mar Horse of the Meeting Acclamation who later received an Eclipse Award as America’s top older male Thoroughbred. First prize of $180,000 pushed the veteran stakes campaigner’s earnings to $1,400,864. It was his tenth victory in 35 career outings and seventh in 21 starts on grass.

Jeranimo returned $7.80, $4.20 and $3.80, while Vagabond Shoes paid $13.60 and $8.60 and Fly Lexis Fly returned $11 to show.

In the afternoon’s supporting feature, $102,550 Osunitas Stakes for older fillies and mares, 16-1 longshot Closing Range, an invader from the Midwest piloted by Corey Nakatani, got up in the final strides to score by a neck over 7-5 favored Unusual Hottie, with I Dazzle third in the field of ten distaffers.

Closing Range, owned by St. George Farm Racing and trained by Phil Oliver, ran the mile and one-sixteenth on turf in 1:41.44 and paid $35.40 after notching her fifth victory in ten races. Her previous race was at Indiana Downs.

Bejarano continued his hot riding as he scored a triple Saturday. In addition to his win on Jeranimo in the Read Stakes, the Peruvian-born jockey won the third on Star Vesta at $8.60 and the tenth-race nightcap on Somewhere With You at $18.80. Bejarano, seeking his third Del Mar championship and second straight, has won ten races in three days to lead the standings.

Joe Talamo, mired in an 0-43 slump, broke out in style with three winners, Surf N  Ski in the opener, Guns Loaded in the sixth and Would You in the ninth.

Saturday’s attendance was 19,586.

 

 

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