Trainer John Sadler had Santa Anita’s $64,050 Fools Rush In Purse surrounded on Thursday when his gritty Carbonite edged favored stablemate Pressday by a neck in the 6 ½ furlong event over the track’s hillside turf course.
Sent off at odds of 3-1 with Victor Espinoza in the saddle, Carbonite tracked the early pace before taking the lead entering the stretch and had enough left at the wire to repel the outside bid of the well-fancied Australian import in 1:12.83.
“I had a great trip,” Espinoza said after dismounting from the 6-year-old gelding. “He’s a tough little horse. I had to get after him, though, because he’s so laid back.” It was the 10th win in 20 races for Carbonite, who has run second just once.
His determination was enough to mar the U.S. debut of Pressday, a multiple Group I winner in Australia where the 5-year-old bay had earned $746,959 while winning 5 of 13 races. Pressday was bet down to odds of 3-2. “It was his first time in this country,” jockey Joel Rosario commented afterward. “He ran well.”
It was another half-length back to third-place finisher Leroy’s Dynameaux, with Rafael Bejarano aboard, in the field of eight. Carbonite paid $8, $4 and $2.40. The mutuels on Pressday were $3.60 and $2.40. Leroy’s Dynameaux paid $2.60 to show.
While building his overall record to 10-1-3 in his 20th start, Carbonite earned $40,000 for Anthony J. Chacon and Paul Mangini Jr. to bring his career earnings to $332,137.