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Holy Lute wins $100,000 Eddie D. Stakes at Santa Anita

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ARCADIA, Calif. — Holy Lute won the second division of the $100,000 Eddie D. Stakes by 1 1/4 lengths Friday on opening day of Santa Anita’s fall meet.

Ridden by Jamie Theriot, Holy Lute ran 6 1/2 furlongs on the revamped hillside turf course in 1:11.23 and paid $23.40, $9 and $7.60 at 10-1 odds in the Grade 3 race.

Boozer returned $6.80 and $4, while 3-1 favorite Guns Loaded was another head back in third and paid $4.60 to show. Those two horses survived a claim of foul interference in mid-stretch by Brice Blanc, who was aboard fifth-place finisher Ohio. The stewards ruled there would be no change to the order of finish.

Trained by Jim Cassidy, Holy Lute earned his sixth win in 27 career starts and second in a row. The victory, worth $60,000, increased Holy Lute’s career earnings to $507,332.

“He ran phenomenal,” Theriot said. “I told Jim he would run big.”

Cassidy said Holy Lute would be pointed toward the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita on Nov. 5.

In the race’s first division, Ambitious Brew won by 1 3/4 lengths under Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith.

Ambitious Brew ran the distance in 1:11.57 and paid $13.20, $5.40 and $4.20.

Richard’s Boy returned $6.40 and $4.60, while Ireland-bred Hunt was another length back in third and returned $2.40.

Lone Shipman, a filly who shipped in from New York, finished sixth as the 8-5 favorite.

Trained by Marty Jones, Ambitious Brew had finished second by a nose two years ago in the race named for retired Hall of Fame jockey Eddie Delahoussaye, who presented the trophy.

Ambitious Brew has four wins in eight career starts and earnings of $499,225. He’s also headed to the BC Turf Sprint.

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.