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CHILEAN-BRED QUICK CASABLANCA RALLIES FROM OFF PACE TO UPSET IN GRADE III LAST TYCOON; MCANALLY TRAINEE, RIDDEN BY TALAMO OFF AT 16-1
PICK SIX CARRYOVER OF $61,540 INTO SATURDAY, TOTAL POOL SHOULD APPROACH $500,000
ARCADIA, Calif. (April 25, 2014)—Idle since Nov. 17 at Aqueduct, Chilean-bred Quick Casablanca overcame a modest pace to take Friday’s Grade III, $100,000 Last Tycoon Stakes by a head under Joe Talamo. Off at odds of 16-1, he covered 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:48.62.
A Group I winner in both Chile and Argentina, Quick Casablanca made his first start for Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally after going winless in five starts in New York dating back to May 15, 2013 at Belmont Park.
“He came up to the race very well,” said Dan Landers, assistant to McAnally. “He’s a big horse and we just started over with him after he got here. He had had time off and they sent him to us from Florida. I thought he’d run big but you never know. You have to see what you have first. I’m very happy.”
Breaking from the rail in a field of six horses aged three and up, Quick Casablanca was fifth, about 3 ½ lengths off of pacesetter Fire With Fire leaving the Club House turn and remained there until the far turn, when he was angled out by Talamo and rallied four-wide off the turn for home.
“I was able to work him the other day and he showed me that turn of foot in the morning too, he just exploded,” said Talamo. “I wasn’t real happy with the pace (25.34, 49.75, 1:13.58 and 1:36.95). They were moving a little slow on the front end so I had to move sooner than I wanted…When I showed him daylight, he gave me an explosive kick.”
The longest shot in the field, Quick Casablanca paid $34.60, $18.00 and $6.80. An imposing physical specimen, Quick Casablanca, a 6-year-old horse by the Smart Strike stallion Until Sundown, picked up his fourth win to go along with six seconds and four thirds from 17 starts.
Owned by Pablo Gomez, Quick Casablanca picked up $60,000 for the win, improving his earnings to $548,580.
The third choice at 5-1, Fire With Fire came off a gate to wire score going 1 ½ miles on turf in the Grade II San Luis Rey Stakes on March 22 and just missed under Tyler Baze.
“I kind of had to time it right today and when I did, he gave me a 150 percent,” said Baze. “He kicked hard. He had a kick last time out…but not like today. He really had a turn of foot and it was shocking actually. He ran so good and he tried so hard.
Finishing a neck in front of favored Rookie Sensation, Fire With Fire paid $6.20 and $2.20.
Off at even money with Mike Smith, Rookie Sensation sat last to the far turn at the rail, tried to go with the winner leaving the three eighths pole, but had to wait for room behind horses before being angled out to the middle of the track leaving the furlong pole and flew late to finish third, a half length in front of Lakerville.
Rookie Sensation paid $2.10 to show.
Santa Anita will offer a special 11-race card on Saturday, California Gold Rush Day, which will be highlighted by five stakes for horses bred or sired in the golden state. There is a Pick Six carryover of $61,540 into Saturday, with the expectation Saturday’s total pool should approach $500,000.
First post time is 1 p.m. Admission gates will open at 11 a.m.