Hard-sent from the gate by Edwin Maldonado,
longshot Majestic City
led throughout to win Friday’s $70,000 Big Bear
Stakes at Santa Anita, getting a flat mile in 1:35.20 while prevailing
by a neck over 8-5 favorite Rousing Sermon. With stablemate Rail Trip
finishing last at 9-2, Majestic City was considered by punters to be
“the other Ellis,” as both are conditioned by Ron Ellis.
The biggest price in the five-horse Big Bear at 15-1, Majestic City had lost his previous 12 starts.
“We’ve been waiting so long to get a race for him at a mile,” said
former jockey Jeff Bloom, who heads Bloom Racing Stable, LLC. “We
planned to use his tactical speed, and when Summer Hit scratched out of
the race, it set things up perfectly for us. We were hoping he could
make the lead, go to pricking his ears a bit and then finish…He’s been
doing so well.”
Rousing Sermon tracking him throughout, Majestic City set fractions of
23.00, 46.58, 1:10.52 and 1:22.73. Majestic City paid $32.40, $11.00
“He’s a bit
lazy,” said Maldonado. “Ron had two horses in the race and the plan
was for me to go to the front and for Rail Trip to come from behind. I
knew once my horse made the lead he would be a little more aggressive
than usual, and the horse did the job.”
Second in both the Grade I Del Mar Futurity and (Keeneland’s) Dixiana
Breeders’ Futurity at age two, Majestic City, a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred
colt by City Zip, improved his record to 16-4-2-2. With the Big Bear
winner’s share of $43,260, he increased his earnings to $302,500.
Rousing Sermon, who came off a big allowance score on Oct. 3, just
missed under Julien Leparoux, finishing a half length in front of
Drill. He paid $3.60 and $2.40.
Drill, the third wagering choice with Mike Smith at 3-1, never
threatened, and finished another half length in front of 9-5 second
choice Soi Phet and Irving Orozco. Drill paid $2.80 to show.
Rail Trip, with Rafael Bejarano up, finished last, a neck behind Soi Phet.
The two-day Breeders’ Cup World Championships begin Friday, with first
post time at 10:40 a.m. Admission gates open at 9 a.m. Santa Anita
will present an 11-race program, highlighted by the $2 million Breeders’
Cup Distaff, to be run as race 10.