Front-Running Wizard Of Westwood Takes $100,000 Cinema Stakes By 1 ½ Lengths
FRONT-RUNNING WIZARD OF WESTWOOD TAKES $100,000 CINEMA STAKES BY 1 ½ LENGTHS AS CEDILLO & McCARTHY TEAM FOR 1 ¼ MILE TURF WIN IN 2:01.27
ARCADIA, CA (June 11, 2023)—Trainer Michael McCarthy’s Wizard of Westwood broke running in Sunday’s $100,000 Cinema Stakes at Santa Anita and he proved dominant on the front end as he repelled a stiff challenge from race favorite Mi Hermano Ramon to prevail by 1 ½ lengths while getting a mile and one quarter on turf under Abel Cedillo in 2:01.27.
Second, beaten a head by Mi Hermano Ramon going a mile and one eighth on turf here May 7, Wizard of Westwood took a take-no-prisoners approach as he bounded from the gate and was in control when the field crossed the dirt shortly after a hillside start. Shadowed by the favorite up the backside and around the far turn, Mi Hermano Ramon got to the winner’s flank at the top of the lane, but Cedillo had plenty in the tank with Wizard of Westwood, who drew clear and was unchallenged through the lane.
“They went a half in 49 (in the May 7 Singletary Stakes) the other day and I was surprised that he was able to get himself beat off a pedestrian opening half (mile) like that,” said McCarthy. “Today, they went a little bit faster, 47 and four, but it looked like he was always doing it comfortably. (Mi Hermano Ramon) never came to his hip or anything like that (early), so he was able to get himself into a nice rhythm, he put in a little run around the turn and was good enough to hold on today.
“He gallops big in the morning, gallops a mile and a half, a mile and three quarters and doesn’t seem to blow out a candle. He’s got stamina influence (in his) pedigree, today, it kind of worked in his favor.”
Off at 7-2 in a field of seven sophomores, Wizard of Westwood paid $9.00, $4.60 and $2.60.
A 3-year-old colt by the Scat Daddy stallion Tu Brutus out of the Purge mare Figrare, Wizard of Westwood is owned by Andrew and Rania Warren. Stakes placed in his last three starts, all on the Santa Anita turf, Wizard of Westwood, in getting his first stakes win, is now 5-2-2-1. With the winner’s share of $60,000, he increased his earnings to $132,000.
“Last time, he was caught around the quarter pole and when I tried to go with him, he kind of lugged out a little bit,” said Cedillo, who got his first stakes win of the Hollywood Meet. “I think that’s what cost me the win. This time he was so relaxed, turning for home today, I grabbed my inside rein and he stayed on the rail the whole time, so that was really good.
“My intention was to just break and try to take the lead. If someone else wanted to go, I was just going to sit second, but they let me take it so I took it.”
With Mi Hermano Ramon tiring late, Irish-bred Maltese Falcon was along for second money with Hector Berrios. Off at 9-1, he paid $8.00 and $3.20 while finishing three quarters of a length in front of the favorite.
Ridden by Umberto Rispoli, Mi Hermano Ramon was off at 6-5 and paid $2.20 to show.
Cinema fractions were 23.58, 47.97, 1:12.61 and 1:37.15.
Live racing resumes on Friday with first post time for a 10-race card at 1 p.m. Santa Anita’s Hollywood Meeting will conclude next Sunday, June 18, with special early Father’s Day first post time at 12 noon.