Distinctiv Passion Will Be In Front As Far As He Goes

October 01, 2015 10:55am
Distinctiv Passion wins at Santa Anita (2-22-15).
Photo: Benoit Photo
Barring the unforeseen, Distinctiv Passion will be where he always is when he runs in Saturday’s $300,000 Santa Anita Sprint Championship, a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge race at six furlongs: in front as far as he goes.

The 5-year-old Florida-bred horse trained by Jeff Bonde has been on the lead at some point in all of his 19 career starts save the first, when he could get no closer than second by a head after a quarter mile, eventually winding up third.

Other than that, the versatile son of With Distinction has been a gem of consistency, winning eight races, with two seconds and four thirds, earning $476,400, running on dirt, turf and synthetic and winning over each surface. He has never raced beyond seven furlongs and will be ridden for the first time by Martin Pedroza on Saturday.

“He tries hard every time,” Bonde said. “He’s an honest horse.”
The field for the Santa Anita Sprint Championship, race eight of 10: San Onofre, Alex Solis, 6-1; Masochistic, Tyler Baze, 9-5; Glacken Too, Edwin Maldonado, 20-1; Kobe’s Back, Gary Stevens, 8-1; Distinctiv Passion, Martin Pedroza, 6-1; Wild Dude, Rafael Bejarano, 4-1; Indexical, Mario Gutierrez, 20-1; and Gimme Da Lute, Martin Garcia, 3-1.

On paper, it looks like there is enough pace in Saturday’s Santa Anita Sprint
Championship at six furlongs to aid the late running style of Kobe’s Back. But don’t count on it, trainer Peter Eurton says.

“The six furlong races have more pace than the seven furlong races,” he said. “He had no chance at Del Mar (fourth by 9 ½ lengths in the seven furlong Pat O’Brien Aug. 22, in which the first two fractions were 23 1/5 and 45 3/5). He had no chance at that point.
“With those kind horses, you’ve got to have a 21 first quarter, just to soften things up a little bit.”
The Sprint Championship is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge race, with the winner gaining a fees-paid berth to the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland Oct. 30 and 31.

Kobe’s Back, a 4-year-old gray son of A.P. Indy, has been away slowly in at least eight of his 14 career starts, but Eurton is inclined to dismiss those as excuses for his defeats.

“That’s not so critical,” he said. “He’s gotten off bad practically his whole life. It just depends on the pace and if he’s enjoying the race track. He doesn’t want to be too close too early, seemingly. Gary’s (Stevens) got his work cut out for him. He does a great job, but the horse has to comply, and he’s doing so well.

“The horse had a nice work last week, (five furlongs in a bullet 58 seconds) and he did it easily, so if Kobe wants to do it, he’ll make his presence felt.”

Source: Santa Anita Park


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