SOLIS MAKES RIGHT CALL: IT'S GENERAL CONSENSUS FOR GALLAGHER

ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 8, 2010) – Just three-quarters of a length separated trainer Paddy Gallagher’s two longshots, victorious General Consensus and runner-up Exquisite, at the conclusion of Santa Anita’s $56,608 optional claiming feature for fillies and mares at one mile on turf Friday after jockey Alex Solis had to separate the pair when entries were taken.

“I guess I picked the right one by just over a half length,” Solis said after having engendered a huge late burst of speed from General Consensus, a mare he had ridden in her previous 10 starts while winning three times.

ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 8, 2010) – Just three-quarters of a length separated trainer Paddy Gallagher’s two longshots, victorious General Consensus and runner-up Exquisite, at the conclusion of Santa Anita’s $56,608 optional claiming feature for fillies and mares at one mile on turf Friday after jockey Alex Solis had to separate the pair when entries were taken.

“I guess I picked the right one by just over a half length,” Solis said after having engendered a huge late burst of speed from General Consensus, a mare he had ridden in her previous 10 starts while winning three times.

Victor Espinoza, named to replace Solis on Exquisite whom the latter had ridden in her previous six races while winning twice, got his mount through on the inside only to be run down in the closing stages by her stablemate, timed in 1:35.27.

Eissoai, with Michael Baze in the saddle, finished third, a neck behind the second of Gallagher’s two entrants in the field of nine. Bootleg Annie, the 2-1 favorite, gamely held on for fourth another head back after setting much of the pace.

The public could barely separate Gallagher’s pair of mares. Bettors sent 5-year-old General Consensus off at odds of 8.70-1 and 6-year-old Exquisite away at odds of 8.50 to 1. General Consensus rewarded her backers with payoffs of $19.40, $7.40 and $4.60. Her stablemate paid $8.80 and $5.80 despite being a tad shorter price on the win end. The show price on Eissoai was $6.40.

“I had a good trip,” Solis said in the winner’s circle. “I was able to save ground early, but I had to be patient. At the eighth-pole, I sent her out in the clear and she sure got the job done.” Noting that he had few options to separate the pair in alternate races, Gallagher said, “I’m just happy that both horses ran well.”

Owned by Sierra Farm, General Consensus gained a winning purse of $33,600, which increased her career total to $195,494 from a record of 4-4-2 in 14 starts. The daughter of Giant’s Causeway has finished off-the-board in just one of her last nine starts.

Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile champion Furthest Land returns to action as the 8-5 morning line favorite in Saturday’s 73rd running of the Grade II, $150,000 San Pasqual Handicap, a stepping stone to the Santa Anita Handicap on March 6. The San Pasqual tops a nine-race card that gets underway at 12:30 p.m.

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