Midnight Transfer made the successful leap from maiden breaker to
stakes winner in the earlier $82,500 San Pedro Stakes for 3-year-olds
with a strong finish to edge Got Even by a head at the wire in 1:14.25
for 6 ½ furlongs.
A late-developing son of Hard Spun, Midnight Transfer had taken
four races to break his maiden, but when doing so on Santa Anita’s
opening day, Dec. 26, he did so stunningly by 4 ¾ lengths while covering
six furlongs in 1:08.
Rosario, back aboard in the 20th running of the San Pedro, timed
his chestnut colt’s rally just right while bringing Midnight Transfer
from next to last as the field of six turned for home. Rosario kept his
mount on the rail, found an opening at the top of the stretch, and swung
outside to complete the late charge.
“Sometimes you have to get lucky when you have the inside post
position and we did,” said Rosario. “He finished up really strong, and I
think he can run long. I think he can do anything.”
“We’re hoping to stretch him out,” said Carla Gaines, who trains
Midnight Transfer for Warren Williamson. “We’ll look at the San Felipe
Stakes (Grade II, $300,000 at 1 1/16 miles on March 10). We’ll see how
he comes out of this. But we’re very excited about how he closed.”
Got Even, who set all the pace under Corey Nakatani, held the
place by 2 ½ lengths over Let’s Get Crackin with Victor Espinoza in the
saddle. Drill, the 8-5 favorite who had won last September’s Grade I Del
Mar Futurity, tried to rally, but flattened out to finish fifth while
ridden by Martin Garcia.
“He was too far back,” opined Bob Baffert, who trains Drill.
“Then he made that big wide move. You just can’t do that. I thought he’d
be up closer, but I’ve got to talk to Martin.”
The second choice at 2-1, Midnight Transfer paid $6.40, $3.80
and $3. Got Even returned $4.40 and $3.60. The show price on 30-1 shot
Let’s Get Crackin was $5.80. The winning purse of $46,800 boosted the
career earnings of Midnight Transfer to $96,050. He was purchased last
April at auction for $80,000.