After managing a single victory in his previous 14 starts against mostly stakes competition, Leroy’s Dynameaux reversed his fortunes with a 1 ¼-length victory Friday in Santa Anita’s $65,618 In Excess Purse at one mile on turf.
With Rafael Bejarano in the saddle, the 5-year-old gelding rallied on the extreme outside to defeat Supreme Summit as the 5-2 second choice in a field of six after favored Pathfork ran out of gas. The 3-2 choice faded to last after opening up an eight-length lead down the backstretch before yielding at the far turn. The final time was 1:34.39.
The result was one of a continuous string of upsets in the Pick Six races that led to a carryover of $63,629 into Saturday’s Santa Anita Handicap Day program.
“This has been about as unlucky a horse as you could imagine in his last six or seven starts,” said Mark Glatt, who trains Leroy’s Dynameaux for Ellenay Racing. “He comes up with big races, but he always seems to come up short because of something. Today, he got some pace to run at. And when he gets a hot pace to run at, he’s tough to beat.”
“This horse should have won last time,” said Bejarano, referring to a three-quarter-length loss when third in a hillside turf course sprint on Feb. 9. “I got squeezed pretty bad when we crossed the dirt, and he was so full of run at the finish. I was glad to get back on him today. When we got to the half-mile pole, I just decided to go wide and keep him out of trouble.”
The homebred son of Leroidesanimaux gained the lead in midstretch and progressively drew clear. Supreme Summit, ridden by David Flores, nosed out Red Defense and jockey Martin Garcia for the place. Leroy’s Dynameaux paid $7.20, $3.80 and $2.60. Supreme Summit returned $5.80 and $3.20. Red Defense paid $3.20 to show.
As for favored 4-year-old Pathfork, who had been a Group I winner as a juvenile in Ireland, jockey Joel Rosario said, “He was not relaxed at all. He just didn’t want to slow down.” Pathfork took his pursuers through early fractions of 22.62 and 45.47.
The stretch-running Leroy’s Dynameaux earned $37,800 to bring his career total to $269,112 from a 4-3-5 record in 20 trips to the post.