Longshot Adminniestrator closed powerfully in the stretch to get up by a nose at the wire over Music's Storm in the $500,000 Barretts/CTBA Sunshine Millions Turf Stakes Saturday at Santa Anita.
Taken back early by jockey David Flores, the 6-year-old California-bred grey or roan son of Incinderator made an extremely wide move into the stretch, avoiding the heavily-congested traffic of the 12-horse field to win in a time of 1:46.48 for the 1 1/8 mile on turf.
"Looking at the replay, the finish was closer than I thought," Flores said. "I knew I won. I was last early, but I knew if he ran the last eighth of a mile like he can, we'd get there."
Forbidden Apple, the 5-2 favoite ridden by Corey Nakatani, was third, a length behind Music's Storm in the 31st and final race of the 8-year-old horse's career. Forbidden Apple made a bold move to get to within a head of the leader Stormy Roman in the stretch, but could not match the winner or Music's Storm, who was ridden by Kent Desormeaux.
Mayakovsky was the early leader over Stormy Roman, clicking through fast early fractions of :22.88, :46.16 and 1:09.95 and was not around at the end, finishing 11th.
Patrick Gallagher trains Adminniestrator for Nico Nierenberg, who claimed him for $50,000 on June 10, 2001. It was the third win in nine starts for his current connections and his ninth winning tally overall in 34 career tries. The winner picked up a $300,000 winner's share and has now earned nearly $750,000 in his career. Fred Sahadi bred Adminniestrator.
"I don't know if I'm surprised (that he won), but it's a big race and I'm happy," said Gallagher. "He got further back (today) than he wanted and got caught wide, but it worked out good. He ran hard."
Forbidden Apple was saddled by Christophe Loriel, assistant to Christophe Clemente, who noted, "He ran a great race and did everything right, which makes those kinds of losses frustrating. But he's eight years old now so his best races are probably behind him. I feel so fortunate to have been involved with a horse like that. He'll go to Payson and then he'll be a stallion at his owner's farm (Arthur Appleton in Ocala)."
Sent off at 9-1, the winner paid $20, $9.40 and $5. Music's Storm returned $9.40 and $6. Forbidden Apple's show price was $3.60. The $2 exacta was worth $155.60.
The victory by Adminniestrator was the one win by a California bred in the Sunshine Millions.