With an eye-catching turn of foot, Purim’s Dancer
and Gary Stevens
burst through at the rail turning for home to take Sunday’s $75,000
Wishing Well Stakes for older fillies and mares by 3 ¼ lengths while
covering 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course in
Off as the third choice in the field of 11at 3-1, Purim’s
Dancer, who was making her first start in stakes company for trainer Tom
Proctor, sat third in behind dueling leaders Nechez Dawn and Garrett
Gomez and Givine and Tyler Baze.
In a move similar to her allowance victory down the hill on Jan.
18, Purim’s Dancer hugged the rail and when Nechez Dawn veered outward
crossing the dirt at the top of the stretch, Stevens seized the
opportunity and quickly opened up two lengths on the field while
annexing his second stakes win in as many days.
“I went back and watched her race from the other day when
Garrett rode her and tried to draw up the same trip, and we got it,”
said Stevens. “When we crossed the dirt, Garrett’s filly kind of
scooted out and my filly has a quick turn of foot…and it was over in a
matter of seconds.”
When asked to describe how he felt to win the Grade II San
Marcos Stakes on Saturday and today’s Wishing Well, Stevens was quick to
“It feels tremendous. Because of guys like these, Tom Proctor
here to my right and all the great supporters of Gary Stevens through
the years and giving me a shot once again. It’s time to capitalize and
we are, but it’s good horses that put you in the winner’s circle.”
Although ridden by Gomez on Jan. 18, Purim’s Dancer was ridden by Stevens for the first time in the Wishing Well.
“We decided late to come in this race,” said Proctor. “Garrett
had already committed to the other filly (Nechez Dawn), so it was too
late for him to try to ride my filly.”
Purim’s Dancer paid $8.80, $5.40 and $4.20. Owned by Doug
Donnelly, Corey Johnsen, Lenny Kohn and Gene McLean, Purim’s Dancer, a
4-year-old filly by the Dynaformer stallion Purim, picked up $48,300 for
the win and increased her earnings to $117,960 from a record of
Longshot Dancingtothestars, off at 16-1, was fanned four-wide
turning for home and ran second with Edwin Maldonado, 1 ¼ lengths in
front of 5-2 favorite Byrama and Rafael Bejarano.
Dancingtothestars paid $14.00 and $7.60.
Byrama broke slowly from the rail and made a good run through
the lane to finish three quarters of a length in front of Schiaparelli
and Joe Talamo. Byrama paid $3.40 to show.
The early splits for the race were 21.86, 44.22 and 1:06.31.
With a Pick Six carryover of $497,258 stoking the mutuel fire,
Sunday’s total Pick Six pool reached $770,773. There were 49 winning
tickets, each worth $10,413.40. Two of them were purchased on-track,
for $1,728 and $960.00, respectively.
Santa Anita will embark upon a special five-day race week on
Thursday, as The Great Race Place will be open on Presidents’ Day,
Monday, February 18.