Hard-hitting Warren’s Showtime got the early pace pressure she’s been craving the entire meet and took full advantage on closing day Sunday at Santa Anita, as she unfurled an impressive stretch kick to take the Grade 3, $100,000 Wilshire Stakes.
Owned and bred in California by Ben and Sally Warren, trained by Craig Lewis and ridden by Juan Hernandez, Warren’s Showtime won going away over pacesetter Leggs Galore while stopping the clock of a mile on turf in 1:34.29.
As expected, Leggs Galore was hustled away from the gate by Ricky Gonzalez and she held a 1 3/4-length advantage over Chilean-bred Brooke as the field straightened up for their run up the backside with long-striding Warren’s Showtime ambling along while next to last.
Although Leggs Galore spurted clear, commanding a two-length edge on Brooke at the quarter pole, Warren’s Showtime was in high gear under Hernandez, who wheeled four-wide at the top of the lane. From there, there was no stopping the 4-year-old daughter of Clubhouse Ride, as she broke a six-game losing streak while notching her second career graded stakes victory.
Most recently a close second to Leggs Galore in the statebred Fran’s Valentine Stakes at one mile on turf May 9, Warren’s Showtime was off as the 2-1 favorite in a field of eight fillies and mares three and up and paid $6.00, $3.00 and $2.20.
“She’s a racehorse, she lays it down every time, she gives everything she can give and that’s all you could ask,” said Lewis, who also trained both the sire and dam of the winner. “Juan is a really good rider and he’s a got a good agent, so it works well together. I had a little anxiety, but I felt like today was going to be her day. It looked like there would be a realistic pace. … She looks like a million dollars and by the way, she’s close to getting to that point. We’re hoping she does, but she’s just a wonderful filly and gives you what she can.
“… Today was her day. I told Juan to be as patient as he could because we knew they were going to go fast today. … I am very excited about the future for Clubhouse Ride. He’s a beast.”
By millionaire Clubhouse Ride, out of Warren’s Grade 1 stakes winning Affirmative mare Warren’s Veneda, Warren’s Showtime notched her sixth stakes win and improved her overall mark 20-7-2-9. With the winner’s share of $60,000, she increased her earnings to $697,431.
“We’ve been knocking on the door the last few times, we were third, second, just missing the winner, but today I think the pace was the key,” said Hernandez, who registered his second stake win and third overall victory on the day. “That was a good pace for us because she was flying at the end. … Today, I kind of moved a little earlier, so when I passed the other filly, I said, ‘I got it.’ ”
Gallant in defeat, Leggs Galore finished a neck in front of Brooke and paid $3.40 and $2.20 while off at 7-2.
Ridden by Umberto Rispoli, Brooke, who pressed the pace throughout, was third-best and paid $4.00 to show while finishing 1 1/4 lengths better than Ippodamia’s Girl.
Fractions on the Wilshire were 22.45, 45.97, 1:10.04 and 1:22.19.