Dreamologist wins Las Cienegas Stakes at Santa Anita

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ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) Quick Casablanca made a bold move around the final turn and went on to a 2 3/4-length victory in the $100,000 San Juan Capistrano Stakes Sunday on closing day at Santa Anita, giving Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally his fourth career win in the race at age 83.

Ridden by Tyler Baze, Quick Casablanca ran 1 7/8 miles on a yielding turf course in 3:19.58. The 9-5 favorite paid $5.80, $3.200 and $2.40.

Generosidade, a 7-year-old bred in Uruguay, returned $4.40 and $3.80. Life’s Journey was another 3 3/4 lengths back in third and paid $5 to show.

The victory, worth $60,000, increased Quick Casablanca’s career earnings to $749,160, with five wins in 28 starts.

Quick Casablanca loped along last in the field of seven older horses before Baze called upon the 8-year-old Chile-bred with three furlongs to go.

“He’s one professional horse, and he’s old like me,” McAnally said. “This is a good horse.”

Dreamologist won the $100,000 Las Cienegas Stakes by 1 3/4 lengths after the race was moved from turf to the dirt track because of the recent rain.

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Ridden by Flavien Prat, Dreamologist ran 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:15.56 and paid $3.40, $2.60 and $2.20 as the 3-5 favorite in the field of seven fillies and mares.

Off the Road returned $7.60 and $4.40, while Fanticola was another nose back in third and paid $3 to show.

The victory, worth $60,000, increased Dreamologist’s career earnings to $203,710, with four wins in eight starts. It was the 4-year-old filly’s first stakes victory. The race was originally listed as a Grade 3, but its status is under review after change in surface.

“She looked comfortable, looked good,” trainer Richard Mandella said. “We entered for dirt only. She’s done so well on the dirt, we wanted to take a shot at it. This is a nice way to finish the meet.”

Rafael Bejarano won his 13th career riding title and fourth in a row at Santa Anita with 74 victories. Prat finished second with 51 winners. Bejarano also led in purse earnings with $3,527,071, and tied Gary Stevens with eight stakes victories.

Phil D’Amato overtook Doug O’Neill to win the trainers’ title, the 40-year-old’s first ever. D’Amato saddled 41 winners, seven more than second-place O’Neill during the 63-day meet. D’Amato had a leading eight stakes victories, and his horses earned a leading $2,133,810.

The track’s spring meet begins May 5.

Tiger Roll wins Grand National in photo finish

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AINTREE, England — Tiger Roll won the Grand National Steeplechase in a photo finish over Pleasant Company as Irish horses dominated the world’s most famous steeplechase at Aintree on Saturday.

A 4 1/2-mile (6,400-meter) race was won by a matter of inches in the closest finish to the Grand National since 2012, when Neptune Collonges won by a nose.

Tiger Roll, a 10-1 shot, was leading by as much as 10 lengths in the long run to the line, but only just held off the fast-finishing Pleasant Company (25-1) to win a first prize of 500,000 pounds ($710,000).

“I did have a big fear,” said jockey Davy Russell, who won the race for the first time at his 14th attempt. “It would have been heartbreaking.”

The first four horses home in the National were from Ireland, including Bless The Wings (40-1) and Anibale Fly (10-1).

It was the second National victory for both trainer Gordon Elliott, who also won with Silver Birch in 2007, and owner Michael O’Leary, who had 2016 winner Rule The World. O’Leary is chief executive of budget airline Ryanair.

“We bought the horse as a pint-sized hurdler,” O’Leary said, “but he’s got a heart of a lion.”

Russell grew up dreaming of winning the National. As a child, he erected Aintree-style fences in his garden and pretended to ride a horse over them.

“I’ve won this race thousands of times (in my head),” Russell said. “But not like this.”

David Mullins, the jockey of Pleasant Company, said he thought he was well-beaten after jumping the next-to-last fence.

“Davy was going so much better than me,” Mullins said.

That seemed to be the case as the horses made it past the elbow in the run to the line, but Pleasant Company closed in as Tiger Roll faded. It was too close to call as they crossed the line and the 171st edition of the race required a photo finish to separate them.

Total Recall went off as the 7-1 favorite but fell.

 

Baffert: McKinzie won’t run in Santa Anita Derby

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ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) McKinzie will miss the Santa Anita Derby on April 7 because of an unspecified problem.

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert confirmed the colt won’t run in the West Coast’s major prep for the Kentucky Derby due to an issue in one of his hind legs. X-rays and scans haven’t confirmed what it is.

Baffert said Saturday in Dubai that McKinzie is “definitely out,” according to multiple media reports. He says he’s being “very cautious.”

The colt edged Bolt d’Oro in the San Felipe Stakes on March 10, but was disqualified and placed second for interference in the stretch.

McKinzie was 10th on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard with 40 points for owners Karl Watson, Mike Pegram and Paul Weitman. The colt won the Los Alamitos CashCall Futurity on Dec. 9 and the Sham Stakes on Jan. 6.

Baffert was in the Middle East to saddle West Coast and Mubtaahij to second- and third-place finishes in the $10 million Dubai World Cup.