Idle since running a close third in
the Grade I King’s Bishop Stakes on Aug. 25 at Saratoga, the Steve
Asmussen-trained Unbridled’s Note tried the turf for the first time in Santa
Anita’s inaugural Grade III, $100,000 Eddie D Stakes and he relished the lawn,
winning by 1 ¼ lengths while covering the 6 ½ furlong downhill turf layout in
Formerly run as the Morvich Stakes,
the Eddie D was named in honor of retired Hall of Fame jockey Eddie
Delahoussaye, who won his 6,000 career race at Santa Anita and who was on-hand
to present the trophy.
Comma to the Top, the 7-2 morning
line time favorite in a field of 12, showed his customary early speed, but
longshot Chosen Miracle was hustled to the lead and repelled all challenges,
except that of the winner.
Ridden by Corey Nakatani,
Unbridled’s Note broke from the outside post position and stalked the pace
early. As the frontrunners crossed the dirt turning for home, Nakatani
wheeled wide and the 3-year-old colt by Unbridled’s Song launched a powerful
rally under left handed urging and won in-hand.
“It’s an honor to win this race,”
said Nakatani. “Eddie was one of the guys I idolized when I first
started. This horse is just good enough to put me in the position I
needed to be in to win. The key is if they handle it (downhill turf), and
he handled it just fine. It’s Eddie D.’s day though. He’s a great
asset to the sport.”
Assistant trainer Scott Blasi
deputized for Asmussen and was looking forward to the Breeders’ Cup Turf
Sprint, on Nov. 2 at Santa Anita, following the Eddie D.
“This puts us in a position to make
the Breeders’ Cup with him,” said Blasi. “I just told Corey to put him in
a good spot and see if he liked it or not…This is his first time on the
grass. It was a pretty dominating performance, I thought, and usually
when you run them back the second time, hopefully they run better…”
Owned by Mike McCarty, Unbridled’s
Note, the 3-1 post time favorite, paid $8.00, $5.60 and $3.80. With the
winner’s share of $60,000, Unbridled’s Note boosted his career earnings to
$195,741 from a 7-3-0-2 record.
Chosen Miracle carved out fractions
of 22.30, 44.28 and 1:06.48 over a firm turf and gave way grudgingly late under
Alonso Quinonez, finishing a neck ahead of Mensa Heat and Juan Hernandez for
Chosen Miracle paid $11.60 to place
and $7.80 to show. Mensa Heat returned $10.00.
Comma to the Top and jockey Martin
Pedroza ended up fourth, beaten 2 ½ lengths at odds of 7-2.
For his part, Delahoussaye expressed
appreciation following the race named for him.
“It’s a great honor, especially
because I’m living to see it. Most of the time, they give these awards
and the people are deceased…So at least I know I won it—thank God!”
The on-track crowd of 5,775
represented a slight percent increase over last year’s opener, which attracted
With the exception of the Eddie D,
not a single post time favorite won on Friday, resulting in a Pick Six
carryover into Saturday of $55,260.
Santa Anita’s all stakes Pick Six
will cover races six through 11, which will include five Grade I Breeders’ Cup
“Win and You’re In” stakes.
First post time is at 1 p.m.