With a morning rain having put 2011 North American sprint champion
Amazombie’s 2012 debut on hold, 6-year-old gelding Frumious notched his
first stakes victory on Saturday by running off with Santa Anita’s Grade
II, $150,000 Palos Verdes Stakes at six furlongs.
Ridden by Antonio Castanon, 6-1 shot Frumious bolted to the lead
and was never approached while streaking to a 5 ¾-length victory in
1:07.28 over a lightening fast track that had been sealed prior a
morning rain storm that had passed through by afternoon.
Galientos, a 12-1 longshot who gamely chased without menacing
throughout, ran second in the field of six, a neck ahead of third-place
Mensa Heat. Courtside, the 19-10 favorite, was never a factor. He
Trained by Jeff Bonde for George and Mary Clare Schmitt, the
California-bred son of Grindstone gained his third straight win, but
neither of the two previous amounted to much compared to the 60th
running of the Palos Verdes.
Frumious, who earned $90,000 on Saturday, could have been
claimed for $40,000 two races back. He had never hit the board in three
previous stakes tries including one at the Sacramento fair meet in 2009.
“You could see that the speed of the races was fast today,” said
the 48-year-old Castanon. “This race was going to be one of the fastest
races today, so I just let my horse run his own race because I know he
has a lot of speed. I didn’t expect to be on the lead so soon. When I
ended up there, I just let my horse run.”
And run is indeed what the bay gelding did. He whizzed through
fractions of 21.06, 42.77 and 54.53. Castanon, who currently rides
sparingly at Santa Anita, achieved his second stakes win at the track.
His previous victory had been recorded in 1992 in the Grade II
Providencia Stakes for trainer Gary Jones aboard Saron Stable’s Miss
Frumious paid $14.60, $7.20 and $4. Galientos, ridden by Corey
Nakatani, returned $9 and $3.60. The show price on Mensa Heat, with
Rafael Bejarano aboard, was $3. The winning purse lifted the career
earnings of Frumious to $259,192 from a 6-0-4 record in 15 starts.
Eclipse Award winner Amazombie, who was declared earlier in the
day, is expected to return in either the $100,000 Sensational Star
Stakes next Saturday or the Grade II, $200,000 San Carlos Stakes on Feb.
With Joe Talamo in the saddle, Chilean-bred Vamo a Galupiar
stormed home along the rail to run away with an earlier stakes contest
on Saturday, the $78,500 Megahertz for fillies and mares at one mile on
After Brazilian-bred Equitana, who had led down the backstretch
by nearly 10 lengths, came back to the field entering the stretch, Vamo a
Galupiar powered home from last to win by 3 ¼ lengths in 1:34.95.
Celestial Kitten, ridden by Bejarano, got up for second, a nose
in front of third-place Pick and Pray and jockey Edwin Maldonado in the
field of seven. Wild Mia, the 13-10 favorite, ran fourth.
“That’s a nice mare,” Talamo said of the winner. “She’s got a
tremendous turn of foot. We just stayed on the rail all the way.
Everything opened up. When she switched leads, she just exploded.”
The victorious chestnut mare, trained by Hall of Famer Neil
Drysdale, was making her first start since April and only her second in
the U.S. She had been a Group I winner in her native country while
victorious in 3 of 4 starts. Vamo A Galupiar went to the sidelines after
finishing seventh in Hollywood Park’s Grade II Wilshire Handicap.
“She bruised something behind,” explained Drysdale. “It wasn’t
any big deal. She just needed time. She got tired, and she wasn’t quite
right,” Reflecting on her flashy score in the Megahertz, the
English-born trainer commented, “It looks like she’s ready to go now.”
Vamo a Galupiar paid $25.21, $12.40 and $7.20. The mutuels on
Celestial Kitten were $6.60 and $4.20. Pick and Pray paid $5.20 to show.
Winning owner Robert S. Evans was rewarded with $47,100, which
increased the career earnings of Vamo a Galupiar to $100,512.
It was the first stakes victory of the meet for Talamo, who had
gotten off to an uncharacteristically slow start. “I don’t have to worry
about that,” the 22-year-old Talamo said in response to a question
about his slump. “Everybody else does that for me.”
Talamo tripled on the day while Joel Rosario moved into the lead
in the young meet’s jockeys’ standings with a four-bagger to lift his
total to 20 victories.