A decision on whether to finally retire the classy 8-year-old Redattore certainly became easier for owner Luis Alfredo Tuanay after the Brazilian-bred horse stormed to a two-length victory in the $150,000 San Gabriel Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Santa Anita turf Sunday.
Ridden by Alex Solis for trainer Richard Mandella, Redattore, carrying top weight of 122 pounds, won for the fifth time in eight starts this year. The victories include a grade I (Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile) and two other grade IIs (Frank Kilroe Mile and Citation Handicap). He has earned $864,147 in 2003.
Tuanay, from Rio de Janeiro, has reportedly been wrestling with the decision on whether to retire the son of Roi Normand-Political Intrigue (Deputy Minister). But Mandella said it isn't likely.
"He's making too much money to retire," he said. "If he hadn't have run well today I imagine there would have been no other choice. There's a farm in California that's talking about standing him (as a stud) and the owner's been thinking about it. But he hates to quit racing him when he's in such good shape."
It was the soon-to-be 9-year-old bay's 32nd start. He has won 15 of them with two seconds and six thirds for earnings of $1,799,883. He has now two grade II wins in a row after winning the Citation at Hollywood Park on Nov. 29.
Breaking from the outside post in a field of nine, Redattore kicked clear of pacesetting Denied in the stretch and won driving. Continental Red came on for a second, 2 1/2 lengths ahead of Denied, who held off French Polo by a head for third place. The final time for the 1 1/8-mile San Gabriel was 1:48.
Redattore was a factor from the break, pressing Denied on the outside through fractions of :24, :48 and 1:11 4/5. After getting the lead, he showed his toughness in holding off a willing Continental Red, who was ridden by Gary Stevens.
Solis, who rode three winners on the nine-race card, said the trip was perfect.
"My plan was to stalk (Denied) until the half-mile pole and then let him go," Solis said. "That's how it worked out. He was real strong from the half-mile pole. He is an experienced horse who loves to win."
Mandella said Redattore could defend his title in the $400,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile on March 3.
The winner paid $4.80, $3.40 and $2.60. Continental Red returned $8.20 and $4.60. Denied, Victor Espinoza up, showed for $3.60. The $2 exacta was worth $49.20.
After French Polo, Trial by Jury finished fifth, followed by Blue Stellar, Maranilla, Sign of The Wolf and Fateful Dream.