In a desperate finish, Argentine-bred Suggestive Boy
, ridden by Joe
Talamo, held off the late charge of Silentio and Rafael Bejarano to win
Saturday’s Grade I, $300,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile (turf) by a nose,
providing Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally with his 700th career win at
Santa Anita while getting the distance in 1:32.89.
“Seven hundred wins at Santa Anita? I thought it was 700 for
everywhere,” said McAnally, who became a household word in the early
1980s as the trainer of the legendary gelding John Henry. “We’ve always
felt (Suggestive Boy) was a good horse…The only thing I told Joe was to
keep him relaxed no matter what the pace is.
“As a rule, he likes a good pace up front because he has a good
turn of foot turning for home. Turning for home today I really thought
we had a good chance because he was in the clear and that’s all it
takes. A good horse will make anybody.”
Irish-bred Vagabond Shoes was sent to lead and took the field of
eight to the top of the stretch through fractions of 22.88, 46.64,
1:09.97 and 1:21.42.
Suggestive Boy, on the strength of a 2 ½ length win in the Grade
II Arcadia Stakes on Feb. 2, was off as the 3-2 favorite and sat
mid-pack into the Club House turn and made the lead in a three wide bid
turning for home.
Suggestive Boy paid $5.00, $3.40 and $2.80. Owned by Pozo de
Luna, Inc., the 5-year-old Suggestive Boy picked up $180,000 for the
win—boosting his earnings to $677,370. His record stands at 13-7-2-0.
“I tell you what, that (Winner’s Circle) picture is going up on
my wall,” said Talamo. “I’ve always wanted to win a big stake for Mr.
McAnally. He did an unbelievable job with this horse, he was very fresh
today and I just had to point him in the right direction.”
Silentio, off at 5-1, broke from the rail, sat in behind the
winner to the first turn and was roughly two lengths off the lead at the
top of the stretch.
“At the eighth pole, I thought my horse was just kind of
lengthening his stride, and maybe we’d get lucky and Joe would move too
early,” said Silentio’s trainer, Gary Mandella. “But watching these
horses gallop out, in another sixteenth of a mile, I still don’t think
my horse is going to get by…It’s going to take a hell of a horse to beat
Silentio, who finished 1 ¼ lengths in front of Fed Biz and Mike Smith, paid $4.60 and $3.40.
Fed Biz, in his first try on grass, finished a nose in front of Mr. Commons and Corey Nakatani.
Fed Biz returned $4.40 to show.
Run as the Arcadia Handicap from 1960 through 1990, McAnally won
a division of the race in 1973 with Kobuk King. Talamo won the race
for the first time today.