Fresh off a huge win versus California-breds, Alfred Pais’s homebred Brickyard Ride made short work of open company in Saturday’s Grade 2, $200,000 San Carlos Stakes at Santa Anita, as he made every pole a winning one in covering seven furlongs in 1:21.51. Ridden by apprentice Alexis Centeno and trained by Craig Lewis, Brickyard Ride, a 4-year-old colt by top California-based stallion Clubhouse Ride, was never threatened as he won by four lengths.
Breaking like a shot from post position six in a field of nine, Brickyard Ride outfooted 2019 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Storm the Court while under restraint in the early running and was merely a chestnut blur around the far turn. With just three taps of the stick to keep him focused, Brickyard Ride cruised to the wire, where he received a congratulatory pat on the right shoulder from Centeno, who celebrated his first-ever graded stakes victory.
“Well, speed kills and he killed today, with his speed,” said Lewis, who also trained Clubhouse Ride. “He’s blessed with a lot of natural speed obviously, he’s learning how to relax. He’s maturing, he’s a big powerful horse. He reached for (more) ground like a horse that could run forever. He’s starting to look like he could be the goods.”
A 3¼-length winner of the six furlong Don Valpredo Cal Cup Sprint on Jan. 16, Brickyard Ride was off at 5-1, a considerable overlay off of his morning line of 3-1, and paid $12.
“This is of big significance to me,” said Centeno, a 27-year-old Puerto Rican native. “Craig Lewis gave me the opportunity to work this horse and since I’ve been on him, he’s run well for me and he’s comfortable with me.”
Out of the Southern Image mare Brickyard Helen, Brickyard Ride collected his first graded stakes win and his seventh overall victory from 13 starts. With the winner’s share of $120,000, he increased his earnings to $380,277.
Fellow Cal-bred Tigre Di Slugo, who was second to the winner in the Cal Cup Sprint, rallied well for second today, finishing a nose better than Exaulted.
Fractions on the race were 21.63, 43.93 and 1:08.49.