REGALLY READY REBOUNDS IMPRESSIVELY DOWN HILLSIDE TURF COURSE IN ‘BORN TO RUN PURSE’

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 4, 2011) – Third behind Dilemma when favored in last month’s Grade III Daytona Stakes, Regally Ready easily took the measure of the Daytona winner and five others in Friday’s $68,800 Born to Run Purse at 6 ½ furlongs over Santa Anita’s downhill turf course.

Bet down to 3-2 favoritism this time and under a hand ride by Corey Nakatani, Vinery Stable’s 4-year-old gelding scored by 3 ¼ lengths over graded stakes winner Gallant Son while covering the distance in 1:12.62. Rendezvous took third, another 1 ¼ lengths back while Dilemma checked in a non-threatening sixth.

Patrick Valenzuela, aboard fourth-place finisher Sayif, lodged a claim of foul against the winner for alleged interference nearing the half-mile pole, but the claim was disallowed.

Trained by Steve Asmussen, Regally Ready was making his second start over the unique downhill turf layout after, according to Asmussen, “he got a little lost” in the Daytona. “Hopefully, with the trip down the hill, he’ll have a better idea of what’s going on,” Asmussen had said before the race.

“He had run well on synthetic in Canada, and we thought he’d like this course,” Scott Blasi, assistant to Asmussen, added afterward. “It’s worked out well this winter, having a horse like him who’s able to come down this hill like he can. They’ve got a good series of stakes here, and this allowance race came up at a good time for us.”

For his victory, Regally Ready paid $5, $3.40 and $3.20. Gallant Son, ridden by Rafael Bejarano, returned $4.40 and $4.20 while Rendezvous, with Joel Rosario aboard, paid $6 to show.

“I just kept this horse in a good spot,” said Nakatani. “He found himself on the lead on the far turn, and he won easily.”

Nakatani seemed unconcerned about the foul claim while waiting for the race to become official. “I don’t think Patrick had enough horse to hold his position when he was caught between my horse and the one ridden by Mike Smith (Matto Mondo),” commented Nakatani.

Regally Ready broke on top in the Born to Run, but Nakatani let him settle behind Matto Mondo and Sayif. Matto Mondo was making his first start since finishing third in the 2009 Santa Anita Handicap while the race marked the United States debut for Irish-bred Sayif. Matto Mondo tired and Sayif weakened after taking up sharply in the early going.

The winning purse of $40,800 boosted the earnings of Regally Ready to $190,488 after having done much of his racing in Canada. His record became 4-2-3 in 10 starts.

Saturday is Strub Stakes Day at Santa Anita with a 10-race program featuring three graded stakes races. Unbeaten 3-year-old filly Turbulent Descent is the 4-5 favorite among six entrants in the Grade I, $250,000 Las Virgenes Stakes (fourth race); Once-beaten Twirling Candy is the even-money choice among eight 4-year-olds in the Grade II, $200,000 Strub Stakes (ninth race), and Victor’s Cry rates as the 3-1 pick among nine grass runners in the Grade III, $100,000 Thunder Road Handicap (eighth race). First post is at 12:30 p.m.

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