CANONIZE DOMINATES RIVALS AS 4-5 CHOICE IN SPRINT FEATURE

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 17, 2010) – After coming up a head short in a blistering comeback race, Jay Em Ess Stable’s Canonize accomplished his mission Wednesday in dominant fashion as the 4-5 favorite in Santa Anita’s $53,916 allowance feature at six furlongs.

While being geared down by jockey Jose Valdivia Jr. in the closing stages, the 4-year-old gelded son of Aldebaran defeated fast-closing Star Nicholas by 3 ¼ lengths while clocked in 1:08.44.

It wasn’t as rapid as his return on Jan. 30 following an eight-month layoff when, after breaking slowly, he just failed to overhaul Gato Go Win in 1:07.64, the fastest six furlongs of the current Santa Anita meet.

But trainer Ron Ellis was more than satisfied with the showing by Canonize, who, after tracking in fourth during the early stages, rallied boldly around the far turn to take charge as the field of seven sprinters straightened into the stretch.

“It was a perfect ride by Jose,” said Ellis. “This horse has come back real well. There was nothing really wrong with him. We just gave him some time. We’re excited. I imagine we’ll try a stakes race with him next.”

“Today, he broke really sharp and I was able to put him into the race right away,” Valdivia said. “I was able to do whatever I wanted, and when I asked him to run, he was there for me. I asked him for about a sixteenth of a mile, and he basically ran the last eighth on his own.”

Charm N Chuck, ridden by Martin Garcia, checked in third Wednesday, a nose behind runner-up Star Nicholas, who rallied from last with Joel Rosario in the saddle.

The winner paid $3.60, $2.80 and $2.10. Star Nicholas returned $6 and $4. The show price on Charm N Chuck was $3.60. Mobilized, the 5-1 second choice in the field, ran fourth.

Canonize, who earned $29,400 on Wednesday to bring his five-race total to $116,600, made an instant impression in April of last year at Santa Anita when capturing his maiden debut by three lengths at odds of 23-1.

He came back as the victorious 13-10 favorite in an optional claiming event at Hollywood Park before being sent off as the 9-10 choice in the Grade III Laz Barrera. He went to the sidelines following a third-place finish behind winning Charlie’s Moment in the Barrera.

Racing continues on Thursday with an eight-race program at Santa Anita. First post is at 1 p.m.

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