Multiple graded stakes winning Finnegans Wake called upon his considerable class as he overcame a slow pace to win Thursday’s $65,000 Santa Anita allowance feature by a half length under Flavien Prat. Conditioned by Peter Miller, the long fused 7-year-old full horse by Powerscourt covered a mile and one eighth on turf in 1:52.18.
Most recently fifth in the Grade II, 1 ¼ miles turf Charles Whittingham Stakes here on May 29, Finnegans Wake, whose last win came six starts back in the Grade I Turf Classic at Churchill Downs on May 2, 2015, attended the pace while last, about two lengths off pacesetting Little Curlin into the far turn and swung four-wide in a field of five turning for home in a powerful effort.
The narrow 8-5 second choice behind Little Curlin, Finnegans Wake paid $5.40, $4.00 and $2.40. Owned by Donegal Racing and Rockingham Ranch, he picked up his eighth win from 35 career starts. With the winner’s share of $39,000, he increased his earnings to $1,589,320.
A close third as part of a five-horse scrum around the far turn, Texas Ryano overhauled Little Curlin well inside the sixteenth pole to finish second by a half length. Ridden by Joe Talamo, Texas Ryano was off at 4-1 and paid $4.60 and $3.00.
Ridden by Drayden Van Dyke and off at 8-5, Little Curlin battled gamely but was third best on the day, finishing another half length in front of Papacoolpapacool. Little Curlin paid $2.20 to show.
With the temporary turf rail set at 10 feet, Little Curlin set fractions of 25.88, 52.32, 1:16.93 and 1:40.91.
First post time for an eight-race card on Friday at Santa Anita is at 1:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 11:30 a.m.
Source: Santa Anita Park