Another upset transpired in the first major prep for the Grade I
Santa Anita Handicap on March 3 when 7-1 shot Uh Oh Bango defeated
favored Tres Borrachos by 1 ¾ lengths in the 75th running of the Grade
II, $150,000 San Pasqual Stakes at 1 1/16 miles.
With Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith aboard the 5-year-old
Arizona-bred for the first time, Uh Oh Bango passed Tres Borrachos to
gain second down the backstretch, disposed of pacesetter Skipshot
entering the stretch, and had plenty in reserve to withstand the
favorite’s attempt to re-rally.
The final time was 1:41.44. Skipshot held on for third in the field of seven, 2 ¼ lengths behind Tres Borrachos.
The victory by the dark bay trained by Arizona-based Kory
Owens for owner-breeder Triple AAA Ranch reversed a 22-length loss to
Tres Borrachos in Del Mar’s Grade II San Diego Handicap last summer.
It required some homework by Smith. He said he telephoned
Aaron Gryder, who had ridden Uh Oh Bango in his two previous starts in
Northern California, for some guidance.
“Aaron said he was unlucky last time (fourth in the Nov. 25
All American Stakes at Golden Gate Fields), and that he should run good
today,” Smith said. “He told me that he was even-paced and not to expect
a quick turn of foot.
“I shared that with Kory (Owens) in the paddock, and he
agreed. So I decided to lay close with him, and he got brave early. I
moved early with him and it worked out. I’ll tell you, he galloped out
strong to about the half-mile pole, so there’s more left.”
“I finally got that Grade II,” said Owens. “He’s been having
races go hit-and-miss for him lately. He finally put it all together
today, and that was a good thing to see. This is a horse that just keeps
Uh Oh Bango paid $16, $6.60 and $4.80. Tres Borrachos, ridden
by Joel Rosario, returned $3.80 and $3. The show price on Skipshot,
with Joe Talamo aboard, was $7.20.
For the victorious son of Top Hit, it was his fifth win in 17
career starts. The winning purse of $90,000 raised his lifetime
earnings to $532,712.