Newly relocated apprentice sensation Joseph Talamo registered his first Santa Anita stakes victory aboard talented Try to Fly in Saturday’s $83,250 San Pedro for 3-year-olds at 6 1/2 furlongs.
Trained by Doug O’Neill and owned by Mercedes Stable, Try to Fly, a Florida-bred colt by Trippi, broke cleanly from the rail and settled last early in the nine horse field. He split horses late to win in a driving finish by one-half length in 1:15 1/5.
“Oh, what a ride,” said O’Neill. “This horse is so gifted. I’ve heard this rider is unbelievable and he looked unbelievable there.”
O'Neill said Try to Fly is ready for a two-turn test next on the Hollywood Park Cushion Track, where the solidly built colt has been training in sharp fashion this year.
Try to Fly broke cleanly and settled in last position early. Idiot Proof, breaking from post position number two, set a fast early pace of :21.52, :43.87 and 1:08.84.
Talamo, who at age 17 was a runaway leading rider this winter at Fair Grounds in New Orleans, was aboard Try to Fly for the first time. “My horse broke good, it was just a matter of time before I had room to get through. I had so much horse around the turn, I was just waiting for a hole to open. This really feels great, winning my first stake here at Santa Anita.”
The second choice in the wagering at 7-2, Try to Fly returned $9.80, $4.60 and $3.20. Grade II winner Principal Secret also made a big move on the tiring leaders for jockey Alex Solis but could not pass Try to Fly, returning $5 and $4. Street Lights and Richard Migliore pressed the pace and returned $6.40 to show.
With the winner’s share of $48,060, Try to Fly increased his earnings to $84,660. In his only other start on March 3, Time to Fly romped over maidens by 5 1/4 lengths at Santa Anita going six furlongs.
Mr. and Mrs. Samuel H. Rogers Jr. bred the chestnut, who is out of the Kris S. mare Try Your Best and sold for $245,000 as a yearling at Fasig-Tipton Kentucky.
There was a Pick Six carryover coming into Sunday of $574,380 and with the carryover, the total pool was $2,303,246. There were 1,709 winning tickets, returning $898.40. Five winners paid $18.20.
The San Pedro shared feature billing with the $107,200 Pro or Con Handicap for California-bred fillies and mares at one mile on turf. It was won by 1-2 favorite Dancing General, under Garrett Gomez for owner Stan Fulton and trainer Rafael Becerra.
Dancing General was all-out to defeat 18-1 longshot Two Times Won by one-half length. Dancing General returned $3, $2.40 and $2.10. Two Times Won, under Jon Court, paid $9 and $5.80. Del Mar Ticket got the show, paying $2.80.
Dancing General was attentive to the pace through slow fractions of :25.05, :49.80, 1:13.83 and 1:25.61. She got the mile in 1:37.16.
With the winner’s purse of $64,320, Dancing General increased her bankroll to $278,720, while winning for the fourth time in 10 starts with five seconds.