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PRUSSIAN GIVE MITCHELL THREE IN ROW AND TRAINING LEAD
ARCADIA, Calif., (April 1, 2009) – Prussian, making his West Coast debut, mowed down his competition Wednesday in Santa Anita’s $56,508 Midnight Rambler Purse to give trainer Mike Mitchell his third consecutive victory and a one-win lead over John Sadler in the meet’s trainers’ race with three weeks remaining.
With Rafael Bejarano aboard, Prussian closed swiftly to defeat Headache by 1 ¼ lengths in the optional claiming event contested at 6 ½ furlongs over the track’s downhill turf course. The winning time was 1:12.26.
Headache, ridden by Julien Couton, finished one length ahead of third-place Quick Enough, with Jose Valdivia Jr. aboard, in the field of 10.
Mitchell, who won last year’s Santa Anita training title with 33 victories, reached that figure with Prussian after taking the two previous races with heavy favorites Dadsalittleunusual and Big Wave Rider.
A 4-year-old son of Danzig, Prussian wasn’t quite as well fancied as Mitchell’s previous two winners while sent off at odds of 2-1. He returned $6, $3.80 and $3. Headache paid $7.20 and $3.80. The show price on Quick Enough was $3.20.
The Midnight Rambler marked the first start in Mitchell’s care for Prussian, who had not raced since last Aug. 23 at Saratoga while trained by Bill Mott.
After winning his first two starts in 2007 including the Group III Summer Stakes at Woodbine Racecourse in Canada, Prussian had raced six times without a victory. However, he was second three times including a runner-up effort behind Gio Ponte in last June’s Grade III Hill Prince Stakes at Belmont Park.
With Wednesday’s winning purse of $31,800, Prussian’s earnings were elevated to $274,529 from a 3-3-0 record in nine career starts.
Racing continues on Thursday at Santa Anita with an eight-race card that begins at 1 p.m.