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Longshot Better Bet Wins at Santa Anita

Better Bet wins at SA (2-21-14).
Photo: Benoit Photo
Longshot Better Bet made the early lead and withstood a stout late challenge from Lucky Views to pull off a 13-1 stunner in Friday’s featured $58,000 Silver Lining Purse allowance, winning by a nose while getting one mile on turf in 1:35.27.

Ridden by Edwin Maldonado and trained by owner/breeder Mike Harrington, Better Bet, a 3-year-old California-bred colt by Southern Image, paid $28.80, $8.20 and $6.40 in a field of five as 6-5 favorite Texas Ryano was never a factor, finishing fourth with Mike Smith up.

With the temporary rail set at 24 feet, Maldonado, who broke from post position two, dictated the pace through splits of 24.08, 48.05, 1:12.16 and 1:23.75.

“I knew it was going to be me or Lucky Views (ridden by Rafael Bejarano) on the lead and I thought since we were on the inside, it would be better for me to take the lead,” said Maldonado.  “They let me walk the dog today, so I walked the dog.  I knew we had it at the wire, no question.”

With the winner’s share of $45,240, Better Bet, who was trying turf for the first time, increased his earnings to $255,120.  A winner of the $200,000 Golden State Juvenile four starts back, Nov. 1, Better Bet notched his third win in his 13th career start.

“I didn’t know if he was going to like the turf or not, but apparently he did,” said Harrington.  “I thought he was beat and he just fought back.”

The third choice at 2-1, Lucky Views broke from post four and sat second to Better Bet throughout and looked a winner a furlong from home but was out-gamed the final sixteenth.  Lucky Views finished 1 ½ lengths in front of Awesome Return and paid $4.00 and $3.80.

Awesome Return, ridden by Joe Talamo, sat third to the top of the lane and threatened at the rail but couldn’t get on terms with the top two and switched to the outside, finishing third, a neck in front of the favorite.  The actual second choice at 2-1, Awesome Return paid 3.60 to show.




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