With a blazingly fast final furlong in 11.14 seconds,
favored The Usual Q.T. overpowered a strong field of foes to win the featured
Grade I $300,000 Eddie Read Stakes today under jockey Victor Espinoza.
Perfectly positioned in the early stages of the nine-furlong
grass race while running third behind pacesetting Acclamation and stalking
Enriched, The Usual Q.T. surged to the lead in the upper stretch and breezed
under the wire two lengths in front in 1:47.28 for the distance.
Victor's Cry rallied well in the stretch to be second, 1 1/4
lengths in front of third-place Enriched, with Crowded House fourth in the
field of seven older Thoroughbreds.
The Usual Q.T., a gelded four-year-old son of Unusual Heat bred in California
by the owners, Don Van Racing, Inc., and trained by Jim Cassidy, won the first
race of his career a year ago at Del Mar and has blossomed into one of the top
grass horses in America. He rattled off five more victories after his maiden
success, including triumphs in the Oak Tree Derby and Grade I Hollywood Derby.
The win in the Eddie Read Stakes was his eighth in 15 starts
and first money of $180,000 elevated his earnings to the edge of millionaire
status, at $993,320.
As the 7-5 betting choice, The Usual Q.T. paid $4.80, $3.20
and $2.60. Victor's Cry, with Corey Nakatani up, paid $5 and $3.60, while
Enriched, under Joel Rosario, returned $3.40 to show.
In the afternoon's supporting feature, the $82,500 Osunitas
Stakes for older fillies and mares, Lilly Fa Pootz and jockey Joe Talamo got up
in the final strides to win by a head over Burg Berg, with Theodora third in a
Lllly Fa Pootz ran the mile and one-sixteenth on the turf in
1:42.27 and paid $15.20.
With no perfect tickets in the Pick Six today, there will be
a carryover to Sunday of $184,880. Post time for the first of nine races will
be 2 p.m.
Tyler Baze, one of America's outstanding young riders,
apparently sustained facial injuries prior to the fifth race when his mount,
Night Justice, struck him in the face with his head prior to entering the
starting gate. Baze was taken to
nearby Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla for x-rays. He was replaced on his
remaining mounts after the incident.
Today's attendance was 21,814.