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BAJAN UPSETS $70,000 ANOAKIA, ESPINOZA & CALLAGHAN TEAM TO WIN BY 2 ¼ LENGTHS, SPEIGHTSTOWN FILLY GETS SIX FURLONGS IN 1:10.64
ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 13, 2013)—Bajan, sixth in the Grade I Del Mar Debutante Aug. 31, was an authoritative 2 ¼ length winner of Sunday’s $70,000 Anoakia Stakes at Santa Anita, running six furlongs in 1:10.64 at odds of 3-1 while odds-on favorite Spring Moon finished fourth in a field of five 2-year-old fillies.
Trained by Simon Callaghan and ridden by Victor Espinoza, Bajan got a perfect stalking trip and was pointed three-wide turning for home, passed pacesetting Cadron with Rafael Bejarano and Smoove It with Mario Gutierrez to easily hold off a late run by E Equalsmcsquared and Martin Pedroza.
“It was a great trip, a lot of fun, actually,” said Espinoza. “She really loves to run on the dirt. She’s a young filly and I think she’s improving right now.”
The second choice at 3-1, Bajan stalked fractions of 21.72, 45.00, 57.47 and paid $8.20, $3.80 and $4.80.
“I think she definitely prefers this surface here at Santa Anita,” said Callaghan. “She kinda got away with it at Del Mar (maiden special weight winner at 6 ½ furlongs Aug. 10), but coming here, it’s much more to her liking. They went quick and Victor had a perfect trip. She’s a nice filly and she picked them up well.”
Owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Ron and Jerry Frankel, Bajan, a Kentucky-bred filly by Speightstown, picked up $43,500 for the win and increased her earnings to $99,150. Her record now stands at 4-2-1-0.
“We haven’t thought about Breeders’ Cup (Juvenile Fillies, Nov. 1) at all to be honest, but the way she won in here makes me think that two turns isn’t totally out of the question,” said Aron Wellman of Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners. “We were focused on this race and getting her back in form. Now that we won this, maybe we can start to think about that next step…We’ll wait and just have to see what happens.”
Last early at 5-1, E Equalsmcsquared finished up 3 ¼ lengths in front of Smoove It and paid $5.00 and $7.00.
The longest shot in the field at 12-1, Smoove It finished 3 ½ lengths in front of Spring Moon and paid $8.00 to show.
Off at 3-5, Spring Moon broke a step slow, was in a good stalking position at the rail going to the far turn, but never threatened.
Santa Anita will present a special 10-race Columbus Day card on Monday, with first post time at 1 p.m. The $100,000 Speakeasy Stakes for 2-year-olds at six furlongs will serve as the day’s featured attraction and will be run as the fourth race.