With the temporary rail set at 30 feet, Corey Nakatani engineered a pace-pressing trip for the John Sadler-trained Spring Up
, resulting in a half length victory in Friday’s $51,000 Muscle Beach Allowance Purse at Santa Anita, as the son of Spring At Last got 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:46.83.
With This Ones’ for Mel and Julien Leparoux setting fractions of 23.59, 47.91, 1:11.61 and 1:35.02, Spring Up was lapped just outside throughout and made the lead off the turn for home.
“We had a great trip,” said Nakatani. “I thought he would be one, two or three going into the first turn and I knew This One’s for Mel has a lot of natural speed too…John’s been having me work this horse and it’s paid off. This horse has gotten better each time John has run him.”
Owned by Gary and Cecil Barber and Kevin Tsujihara, 3-year-old Spring Up had the lead and was collared late going a mile on turf Sept. 29 when second, beaten 1 ½ lengths.
“We put him on the turf for the first time here (Sept. 29) and he ran a very good second,” said Sadler. “So it seems to me like he likes the surface even more than the distance.”
Off as the 4-1 second choice in a seven-horse field, Spring Up paid $10.20, $4.60 and $3.40.
With the winner’s share of $30,600, Florida-bred Spring Up increased his bankroll to $82,187. He now has three wins and a second from seven starts.
Brother Pete, who sat a close third throughout, was three-wide around both turns and closed resolutely with Mike Smith to finish second, a head in front of late closer My Friend Jimmy and Joe Talamo. Off at 7-1, Brother Pete paid $6.80 and $3.80.
My Friend Jimmy, last into and around the far turn, just missed the place and touched This One’s for Mel by a nose for third money. Off at 4-1, My Friend Jimmy paid $3.60 to show.
Santa Anita will present a nine-race card on Saturday, with the Grade III, $100,000 Autumn Miss Stakes serving as the headliner. First post time is 1 p.m.