ARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 30 2016)—Well positioned while attentive to the pace from his number 10 post position, 6-year-old California-bred gelding Ambitious Brew sat a close third at the top of the stretch and out-gamed runner-up Richard’s Boy late to take Friday’s opening day Grade III, $100,000 Eddie D. Stakes (first division) under Mike Smith.
Owned and bred by Pamela Ziebarth and trained by Marty Jones, Ambitious Brew got 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s all-new hillside turf course in 1:11.57.
A winner of four of eight lifetime races down the hillside, Ambitious Brew was off at 5-1 in a field of 10 three year olds and up and paid $13.20, $5.40 and $4.20.
“He jumped out of the gate well,” said Smith. “I was in a great spot from the word ‘go’ and able to get to the outside smoothly, without losing any ground. I’ve been blessed to ride him a lot and win on him a few times, but I have to say that this is his best race, by far. If I can get him to do that coming down the hill at the Breeders’ Cup (Turf Sprint, here on Nov. 5), that would be awesome.”
A son of Tizbud out of the Forest Wildcat mare Kathwen, Ambitious Brew picked up $60,000 for the win, boosting his earnings to $499,225. Second, beaten a nose two years ago in the race named for retired Hall of Famer jockey Eddie Delahoussaye, Ambitious Brew notched his seventh win from 20 overall starts.
“He loves the hill and he trains like it,” said Jones, whose stable is based at Los Alamitos. “We know he’s good and he’s a professional. I was a little nervous in the stretch, but Mike had him in a great spot.”
Ridden by Victor Espinoza, Richard’s Boy pressed the pace throughout and proved second best, finishing a length in front of Irish-bred Hunt. Off at 6-1, Richard’s Boy paid $6.40 and $4.40.
Hunt, who was ridden by Flavien Prat, rallied for third, finishing a half length in front of longshot Clever Royal. The second choice in the wagering at 5-2, he paid $2.40 to show.
Lone Shipman, a highly accomplished filly who shipped in from New York for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, ran mid-pack throughout under Irad Ortiz, Jr., and finished sixth as the 8-5 favorite.
Fractions on the race were 21.79, 43.86 and 1:05.77.
(Delahoussaye presented the trophy and was joined by family and friends, including fellow retired rider and best friend, Ray Sibille).
The first division of the Eddie D. was carded as the sixth race on a nine-race program.