Domestic Dispute, winner of the Strub Stakes at Santa Anita on Saturday.
Although the Triple Crown Trail is in full swing, the older horse division is always important. Even races this early in the season have some bearing on possible year-end honors at the Eclipse Awards. It's also a chance to see last year's Triple Crown horses renew old rivalries as 4-year-olds and begin new ones against older competition.
Medaglia D'Oro, winner of the Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park on Saturday.
When the field got underway, 74-1 shot Predawn Raid was sent to the front by jockey Eibar Coa, and they set a decent pace of 23.31, 47.24, and 1:11.15, with Medaglia d'Oro pressing him the whole way down along the rail. Funny Cide tracked just behind those two for the first trip around the track. At the midpoint of the far turn, Medaglia d'Oro seized the lead and then drew away through the stretch to win by 4 3/4 lengths over late closer and 10-1 shot Seattle Fitz, in a time of 1:47.68 for the 1 1/8 miles over a fast main track. It was another 3 3/4 lengths back to Funny Cide in third. Results Chart
Winning trainer Bobby Frankel
Jockey Jose Santos, aboard third place finisher Funny Cide, said, "At the half-mile pole I got very close to [Medaglia d'Oro]. But he was too much. Too much." Jackson Knowlton, managing partner of Funny Cide's ownership group Sackatoga Stable added, "Medagalia d'Oro ran to his reputation. We ran a very credible race. I'm all right with this race. There will be plenty of grade one's. And Medaglia d'Oro won't be in all of them."
After the Donn, the sprinting division was featured in the $100,000 Deputy Minister Handicap, a 6 1/2 furlong event for older horses. The Deputy Minister marked the return of Breeders' Cup Sprint champion Cajun Beat, who was sent off as the 4-5 favorite in a field of seven. However, after setting a brisk pace of 23.04 and 46.05, the 9-2 third choice Alke, who had stalked him the whole way, wrested the lead from him in mid stretch and drew off from the favorite to win by 2 1/2 lengths in 1:15.80. It was another 2 1/4 lengths back to 13-1 shot Coach Jimi Lee in third. Results Chart
Domestic Dispute winning the Strub Stakes.
36-1 longshot Anziyan Royalty and 5-1 third choice Buckland Manor led the way early, getting the half in 45.83 and three-quarters in 1:10.35. Favored Midas Eyes chased the pace wide around both turns back in seventh early. Turning for home, Anziyan Royalty was done and weakened through the stretch finishing last. 14-1 shot Domestic Dispute, stalking in behind the pace early, came out on the turn for home and rallied to get up in the final strides for the win by a neck over another closer, During, in 1:49.08 over the fast track. It was 3/4 length back to Buckland Manor and another 1/2 length to favored Midas Eyes, who finished well but was left with too much to do after a wide trip. Results Chart
Winning trainer Patrick Gallagher.
Strub Stakes photos courtesy of Tina Hines.
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