AMERICAN BLEND RALLIES WIDE FROM OFF PACE TO WIN THURSDAY’S $58,000 BALBOA PARK PURSE UNDER BEJARANO

PICK SIX CARRYOVER OF $43,178 INTO FRIDAY, FIRST POST AT 1 P.M.

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 21, 2013)—Content to take back off a three-horse speed duel into the Club House turn, American Blend, with Rafael Bejarano aboard, rallied four-wide at the top of the stretch to take Thursday’s $58,000 Balboa Park Purse geared down by 4 ¼ lengths, covering one mile in 1:37.23.

Trained by Carla Gaines and the narrow second choice at 8-5, American Blend broke from post position five in the eight-horse allowance field and sat a comfortable seventh most of the trip as eventual third-place finisher Joy Boy and Tyler Baze set fractions of 22.73, 46.14, 1:11.12 and 1:24.45.

With three eighths of a mile to run, American Blend had two horses beat and was six lengths off the lead.

“At first I was worried, he was so far back,” said Gaines. “This was a little more distance than his previous start, which is what we’ve been wanting. We stretched out today (from a second-place finish going six furlongs), so a mile or more I think will really suit him.”

Owned by Mr. and Mrs. Warren B. Williamson, American Blend, the lightly raced 5-year-old Kentucky-bred gelding by Quiet American notched his second career win in his sixth start. With the winner’s share of $34,800, American Blend improved his earnings to $87,610 and his overall record stands at 6-2-1-1.

American Blend paid $5.40, $3.20 and $2.60.

Half Strike, ridden by Corey Nakatani, trailed the winner to the quarter pole and just nodded pacesetting Joy Boy on the wire to finish second by a neck.

Off at 16-1, Half Strike paid $11.20 and $7.40.

Joy Boy, who outfooted fellow longshots Floating Feather and Call Me Kelly around the first turn, was off at 9-1 and paid $6.60 to show.

Great Warrior, the actual 8-5 favorite by just $1,117, trailed the field at the top of the stretch and finished a well beaten sixth.

There is a Pick Six carryover of $43,178 into Friday. First post time is at 1 p.m. and the Pick Six will cover races three through eight.