D’AMATO BIDS FOR HIS 4TH CONSECUTIVE WIN IN SUNDAY’S GRADE III, $125,000 SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO WITH TURF VETS RIJEKA & RED KING
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 17, 2022)–A dominant force throughout Santa Anita’s Winter/Spring Meet dating back to opening day, Dec. 26, trainer Phil D’Amato won his record 57th race on day 74 Friday as his Carpe Vinum rallied for a 2 ¼ length victory in the day’s $72,000 allowance feature. Ridden for the first time by Ramon Vazquez, Carpe Vinum got one mile on turf in 1:34.55.
D’Amato moved into a single season tie with Doug O’Neill earlier in the day as Ma France took Friday’s first race, giving D’Amato 56 on the season which equaled O’Neill’s mark established in 2006-07.
“It’s a great feeling,” said D’Amato, who also leads all trainers in stakes wins heading into closing weekend with 15 added money tallies. “I wasn’t expecting it or counting the wins, but it’s just a testament to all my people. A total team effort. From my assistants, exercise riders and grooms on down. And most importantly, my owners and the kinds of horses they’re giving me to be able to do this.”
As for Carpe Vinum, she was taken in-hand out of the gate and sat fifth at the rail in behind a quick early pace to the far turn and was about five off longshot leader Super Game as the field headed up the backside.
Heading into the far turn, Vazquez angled out as the leaders came back to him, stepped on the gas a quarter mile out and wheeled three-deep turning for home while in full flight as she went on to overhaul Freedom Flyer in the final sixteenth of a mile.
“She had a nice set-up today,” said D’Amato. “Ramon got her to the outside where she likes to be. She’s just a very steady going filly. We’ve been slowly inching forward with her and hopefully, we can try a stake with her down at Del Mar.
Most recently fourth in the Grade III Santa Barbara Stakes going a mile and one half on turf May 14, Carpe Vinum was the second choice in a field of seven fillies and mares at 7-2 and paid $9.60, $4.00 and $3.20.
Owned by MyRacehorse and Joey Platts, Carpe Vinum, a 5-year-old mare by Giant’s Causeway out of the Johar mare Martita Sangrita, had been winless in her last 10 starts and improved her overall mark to 16-3-1-4. With the winner’s share of $43,200, she increased her earnings to $180,018.
Irish-bred Quattroelle, idle since May 22 of 2021, rallied from last around the far turn to touch Freedom Flyer by a nose on the money. Off at 4-1 with Tyler Baze, she paid $4.80 and $3.80.
Ridden by Juan Hernandez, Freedom Flyer was off at 5-1 and paid $3.40 to show while finishing three quarters of a length in front of Macadamia.
Javanica, the 2-1 favorite with Umberto Rispoli, sat second early and came up empty through the lane to finish fifth.
Fractions on the race were 22.18, 45.37, 1:10.59 and 1:22.74.
Racing resumes with first post time for a 12-race card on Saturday, the penultimate day of Santa Anita’s 76-day Winter/Spring run at 1 p.m.