Defending Champ Brickyard Ride Looms A Standout In Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Kona Gold Stakes
DEFENDING CHAMP BRICKYARD RIDE LOOMS A STANDOUT IN SATURDAY’S GRADE III, $100,000 KONA GOLD STAKES AT 6 ½ PANELS
CALIFORNIA-BRED BY CLUBHOUSE RIDE SEEKS HIS 8TH STAKES WIN FOR OWNER/BREEDER PAIS
ARCADIA, CA (April 18, 2023)—Lightning quick and with a recent race to his credit, California-bred Brickyard Ride would appear to tower over five rival older horses as he defends his title in Santa Anita’s Grade III, $100,000 Kona Gold Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs on Saturday.
Owned and bred by Alfred Pais and trained by Craig Lewis, Brickyard Ride, with two graded stakes wins to his credit, will be in search of his eighth overall stakes victory in what will be his 25th start. A 6-year-old full horse by top California-based stallion Clubhouse Ride out of the Southern Image mare Brickyard Helen, Brickyard Ride unfurled early splits of 21.40 and 43 flat prior to checking third, beaten 2 ¾ lengths going about 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course in the Grade III San Simeon Stakes on March 5—his first start since well beaten in the Grade II Triple Bend Stakes at seven furlongs here on May 29 of last year.
A winner on both turf and dirt in all four of his previous racing seasons, Brickyard Ride has been “nails” on the Santa Anita main track, winning nine out of his 13 starts, while finishing second and third once each.
A gate to wire winner of last year’s Kona Gold three starts back on April 30, Brickyard Ride appeared effortless in carving out splits of 21.80, 44 flat and 1:08.40, prior to finishing up 6 ½ furlongs in a sizzling 1:15 flat.
With Juan Hernandez back aboard for the 10th consecutive time, Brickyard Ride approaches the Kona Gold with an overall mark of 24-12-1-3 and earnings of $756,977.
Second, beaten 2 ¼ lengths while finishing a half length better than Brickyard Ride in the San Simeon, Doug O’Neill’s Anarchist, who earned a career best 97 Beyer Speed Figure, will also be transitioning back to dirt as he’ll hope to tag the top selection late with Ramon Vazquez up.
Ridden by Frankie Dettori in his last two starts, that include a second place finish going in a six furlong dirt allowance Feb. 11, Anarchist was ridden to a second place finish three starts back by Vazquez at 6 ½ furlongs on Jan. 15, which was his first start with O’Neill.
A maiden six furlong winner going six furlongs four starts back at Ellis Park, Anarchist certainly appears ready for stakes competition in what will be his eighth career start. Owned by Ilium Stables, LLC, Anarchist is a 4-year-old colt by Distorted Humor out of the Elusive Quality mare Vicarious Won.
Off the board in five previous stakes attempts, including the Grade I Preakness Stakes four starts back on May 21, 2021, Bob Baffert’s Armagnac will be making his second start off a considerable layoff and should improve with the recent race to his credit. Owned by SF Racing, LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, LLC, et al, Armagnac pressed the pace en route to finishing fourth, beaten 6 ¾ lengths as the 6-5 favorite in a mile and one sixteenth allowance March 19—his first start since well beaten going one mile in the ungraded Shared Belief Stakes Sept. 3 at Del Mar.
Third, beaten seven lengths in his only other sprint try, a first-out maiden 6 ½ furlong race on Dec. 31, 2021, Armagnac, a 4-year-old colt by Quality Road out of the Lemon Drop Kid mare Kitty Wine, has two wins from nine starts and will be ridden for the first time by Abel Cedillo.
THE GRADE III KONA GOLD WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 5 of 10 Approximate post time 3 p.m. PT
- Anarchist—Ramon Vazquez—120
- Sunrise Journey—Edwin Maldonado—122
- Armagnac—Abel Cedillo—120
- Brickyard Ride—Juan Hernandez—124
- Positivity—Tiago Pereira—122
- Trumped—Victor Espinoza—120
First post time for a 10-race card on Saturday is at 1 p.m. with admission gates opening at 11 a.m.