Obviously Proves Best in Arroyo Seco Mile

Obviously Proves Best in Arroyo Seco Mile
Photo: Benoit Photo
Obviously zips to the win in the Arroyo Seco Mile.

Favored Obviously led all the way in winning the $150,000 Arroyo Seco Mile (gr. IIT) in a very fast time over the firm Santa Anita Park course Oct. 6 and seems likely for next month's Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) after his half-length tally (VIDEO).

With Joe Talamo aboard, the 4-year-old Irish-bred gelding was clocked in 1:31.95 in the Arroyo Seco, previously the Oak Tree Mile. The time was just off the track mark of 1:31.89 established by Atticus in 1997.

Japanese-bred invader Trailblazer, a multiple graded stakes winner prepping for the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) in his United States debut, rallied impressively for second, overcoming Mr. Commons by a half-length. Five contested the Arroyo Seco.

In his last prior start Aug. 26, Obviously set a Del Mar turf course mark of 1:32.10 in winning the Del Mar Mile (gr. IIT) by a nose over Mr. Commons. Obviously is on a three-race win streak.

Mike Mitchell, who trains Obviously for owners Anthony Fanticola and Joe Scardino, indicated afterward that the son of Choisir would be pointed to the BC Mile Nov. 3.

"I loved how he saved him down the backside a little bit," Mitchell said. "It was a good horse race. He needed to perform like this today to consider the Breeders’ Cup (Mile) with him, but now, why not?

"Actually, we thought he was a sprinter when we bought him," Mitchell added. "I thought we were going to run him 6 ½ (furlongs) down the hill (on turf) in the Breeders’ Cup."

Carrying top weight of 124 pounds, Obviously carved an opening quarter mile in :23.05 as Mr. Commons, closer to the pace than usual for Brice Blanc, stalked along with 2011 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Midnight Interlude. Obviously showed the way through a half in :45.86 and three-quarters in 1:08.81.

Obviously reached the quarter pole in front by 2 1/2 lengths and Mr. Commons was struggling to keep up as Midnight Interlude faded. As they made their way through the home stretch, Mr. Commons edged closer, trailing by 1 1/2 lengths at the furlong mark as Trailblazer and Yutaka Take rallied on the outside. But Obviously had more to give, covering the final furlong in a sharp 11.5 seconds to hold off both challengers in fine style.

"This is actually the best he has relaxed," Talamo said. "He’s definitely got the highest cruising speed of any horse I’ve ever been on. I still can’t get over that he went the half (mile) in 45 and change. That cruising speed of his is unbelievable. Pulling up, I had to get the outrider to grab me; he’s just full of run.

"I’m excited for the Breeders’ Cup with him. Mike’s done a great job keeping him fresh after his races. Going a mile, he’s just unbelievable."

Making his U.S. debut for Mitchell March 22 after winning two of three starts in his native Ireland, Obviously has an overall record of 6-3-1 in 11 races. The bay has not been worse than third in eight Southern California starts while winning four. His career bankroll now stands at $360,361.

Obviously, out of the Montjeu mare Leala, paid $4.40, $3, and $2.10 as the 6-5 favorite. Trailblazer returned $5.60 and $2.80 and was part of a $24.20 exacta. Mr. Commons paid $2.10. Kettle Corn   and Midnight Interlude completed the order of finish.

“The race went okay," Take said of Trailblazer's performance. "The distance was too short but it was a good race to set up for the next one.”

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