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Legacy Edges Onna Bugeisha in Cypress

Los Alamitos 615 X 400
Photo: Los Alamitos Race Course

Rebounding from a subpar effort May 18 at Santa Anita, Legacy took advantage of a good trip and defeated 13-10 favorite Onna Bugeisha by a nose to win the $78,300 Cypress Stakes Sunday at Los Alamitos.

Content to sit in third behind pacesetter and 2-1 second choice Maker Or Breaker and Onna Bugeisha, Legacy bid outside under jockey Joe Talamo early in the long stretch and was up in a desperate finish with 11-1 shot Irish Presence a half-length back in third.

Owned by breeders Drs. John Jain, Lawrence Opas and Frank Sinatra and trained by John Sadler, Legacy completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.84.

A 4-year-old daughter of Sightseeing and the Smart Strike mare Royal Flush, Legacy won for the third time in 12 starts and pushed her earnings to $151,050.

The third choice in the field of five, Legacy paid $8.20, $3.60 and $3.40.

Onna Bugeisha, who was trying to win for the third time in five starts since joining the stable of trainer Carla Gaines earlier this year, returned $3 and $2.60. The show price on Irish Presence was $3.40. Maker Or Breaker and Miss Radiance completed the order of finish.

“It was a disappointing effort last time (sixth in the Grade III Adoration Stakes), but it was good today,’’ said Sadler’s assistant trainer Larry Benavidez. “She improved and matured in the winter. I think she has to improve a little more to be a graded stakes filly, but why can’t she?’’

Talamo, who doubled Sunday and shares the lead in the jockey standings with apprentice Drayden Van Dyke (five wins apiece) after the first four days of the Summer Thoroughbred Festival, was happy with his journey.

“We had a perfect trip,’’ he said. “It looked like (Maker Or Breaker) and (Onna Bugeisha) were going to be in front and I just wanted to settle in behind them.

“I had plenty of horse when I came to (Onna Bugeisha) and it was just a matter of who was going to get the head down. Both of those fillies were very game.


Drayden Van Dyke, a leading contender for an Eclipse Award as the nation’s top apprentice jockey in 2014, had the second quadruple of his young career Sunday at Los Alamitos.

Van Dyke, who is two months away from his 20th birthday, swept the first four races on the final day of the first week of the Summer Thoroughbred Festival and is tied atop the jockey standings with Joe Talamo. Both have five victories with four days remaining in the inaugural Festival.

“I thought it would be a good day,’’ said Van Dyke. “When I looked in the program and I saw I was on an 8-5 shot and a couple of horses who were 2-1 that is always good to see.

“Everything just went perfectly and right to plan in those first four races. To win one or two races in a day is always great, to win three is even better and to win four is awesome.’’

Born in Kentucky and raised in Hot Springs, Arkansas, Van Dyke, who earned his first  win aboard the Tom Proctor-trained Money Clip last Nov. 21 at Hollywood Park, also won four races April 15 at Turf Paradise.

Son of a jockey (Seth) who still gallops horses for Kentucky-based trainer Dale Romans, Van Dyke finished sixth at the recently-concluded Santa Anita Spring meet with 23 victories after finishing 10th (31 wins) during the Winter/Spring season (Dec. 26, 2013-April 20).

“My goal is to win the Eclipse Award,’’ he said. “I have a great team with Sarah Wolfe as my agent and Steve Nolan advising me.’’

Van Dyke also credits words of wisdom he’s received from Hall of Fame jockeys Mike Smith and Gary Stevens.

“They’re great in pointing things out to me after a race,’’ he said. “There was a race I won down the hill (about 6 ½ furlongs on turf) at Santa Anita and Mike told me there was one thing I could have done that would have made it a perfect ride.

“It showed me that you can learn something you can do better even when you win the race. I’m looking forward to Del Mar (which begins Thursday, July 17) because I’m going to be staying with Mike.’’


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