Photo: Hollywood Park
Co-owner and co-breeder Cory Wellman said she felt a
powerful presence in her favor before Nahem won the $150,000 Snow Chief Stakes,
feature race on the California Gold Rush card Saturday.
Nahem, a 3-year-old gelding who posted a 12-1 upset
in his stakes debut, is named in memory of owner-breeder Eddie Nahem, a zany
and colorful character who died three years ago.
“Between the fifth and sixth races, there was an
acrid smell of pot in the area where we were sitting, and we couldn’t figure
out where it was coming from,” said Wellman, with husband Mike. “Our son said,
‘Nahem is here.’”
Nahem, making his fifth start for trainer Paddy
Gallagher, may have felt some divine inspiration as he rallied late under
Victor Espinoza and outfinished Woodmans Luck to win by a head.
“If this horse gets any better, we’re going to have
to bring our hats out,” said Mike Wellman, in reference to Eddie Nahem’s wild
Gallagher said Nahem came back in good shape from the
race but had not formulated any plans. “I’ll see what comes up,” said
Gallagher. “He seems very adaptable (for any surface).”
Trainer Marty Jones reported that Drink At Buster’s,
who was eased in the stretch and vanned off after finishing last in the Snow
Chief, was retired with a fractured sesamoid in his left front ankle. “We’re
going to find him a home,” said Jones of the Meadowbrook Farms homebred.
Trainer Cliff Sise said that Miles Rules returned in
good order from her first stakes win in the $125,000 Melair for 3-year-old
fillies and could return in the Grade III Railbird May 21. The Halo Farms
homebred by Tribal Rule is named for Miles Himmel, son of San Diego television weatherman Larry Himmel.
Trainer Art Sherman said that the ultra consistent
Ultra Blend would be looking at graded stakes races after her fourth
California-bred stakes win in five starts in the $125,000 B. Thoughtful for
fillies and mares.
Owner Nels Erickson of Reno was thrilled with his first stakes
winner, who pushed her earnings over the $500,000 mark with her ninth win in 20
starts. “She’s nominated to the Breeders’ Cup,” said Erickson, looking at
Amazombie continued to add to his credentials as one
of the top sprinters in the country with a facile victory in the $125,000
Tiznow. “This was the scariest of all: a different rider, a longer distance,”
said co-owner Tom Sanford after the 5-year-old gelding had no trouble with
either 7 ½ furlongs or Joel Rosario pinch-hitting for out-of-town Mike Smith.
Trainer and co-owner Bill Spawr said Amazombie, already a Grade II winner,
could ship for the Grade II True North Handicap at Belmont June 11 or train up
to the Grade I Triple Bend Handicap here at seven furlongs July 2.
Espinoza rode two winners on the card to raise his
leading total in the Gold Rush to 19 while trainer Bob Baffert increased his
lead with his ninth win.