ARCADIA, Calif. — Si Sage led all the way to win the $200,000 Charles Whittingham Stakes by 2 1/2 lengths Sunday at Santa Anita.
Ridden by Hall of Famer Mike Smith, Si Sage ran 1 1/4 miles on turf in 1:59.48 and paid $25, $11.80 and $9.40 at 11-1 odds in the Grade 2 race.
France-bred Patentar returned $25.40 and $11.80 at 32-1 odds. Montego Bay was another half-length back in third and paid $10.60 to show at 20-1 odds.
Bal a Bali, the 7-5 favorite, finished fourth in the field of 10.
Si Sage won in his third start after nearly a one-year layoff for trainer Jim Cassidy.
“Jim told me he was going to run a big race,” Smith said. “He got carried out a little bit when we were crossing the dirt (shortly after the start) and we went a bit quicker than I wanted to go, but in doing so he was well within himself, was comfortable, very relaxed and sometimes you’ve just got to let a fast horse be fast.”
The victory, worth $120,000, increased Si Sage’s career earnings to $381,795, with five wins in 26 starts.
ARCADIA, Calif. — Lady Eli won the $300,000 Gamely Stakes for fillies and mares by a half-length at Santa Anita, ending a two-race skid as the heavy 3-5 favorite.
Ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., Lady Eli ran 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:45.29 on Saturday.
Goodyearforroses was second, followed by Avenge, Mokat and Pretty Girl.
Lady Eli paid $3.20, $2.20 and $2.10. All but $18,388 of the total show pool of $315,505 was wagered on her in the Grade 1 race.
The 5-year-old dark brown mare has eight wins in 11 career starts and has never finished worse than second for New York-based trainer Chad Brown, who won the Preakness with Cloud Computing last weekend.
Lady Eli was coming off two close losses: by a nose in the Jenny Wiley Stakes at Keeneland in April and by a head in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf last November.
NEW YORK — Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming will skip the Belmont Stakes next month after finishing eighth in the Preakness.
Trainer Todd Pletcher says the 3-year-old colt will be pointed toward either the $600,000 Jim Dandy at Saratoga on July 29 or the $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth on July 30, according to the Daily Racing Form.
Trainer Chad Brown says he will wait until after the Memorial Day weekend to announce where Preakness winner Cloud Computing will run next. However, it appears unlikely he will run in the Belmont.
The Belmont field is limited to 16 starters. Besides Classic Empire, who came in second at the Preakness Stakes, other horses expected to run are Conquest Mo Money, Japan-based Epicharis, Gormley, Irap, J Boys Echo, Lookin At Lee, Meantime, Multiple, Patch, Senior Investment, Tapwrit, True Timber and Twisted Tom. Other possibilities are Irish War Cry and Hollywood Handsome.