Blueskiesnrainbows was sent immediately into command by jockey Martin Pedroza as Spud Spivens
and Majestic City
tried to outrun him to the first turn. He controlled the pace in the 1 1/16-mile test, leading six opponents through the first turn and into the backstretch through a quarter in :23.88 and a half in :47.91 as a keen Spud Spivens pressed a half-length behind before being taken back to stalk under Corey Nakatani and eventually finishing last.
Blueskiesnrainbows maintained a clear lead on the backstretch and around the far turn, clocking three-quarters in 1:12.20 and a mile in 1:36.75. Majestic Harbor
was swiftly ridden from fourth to challenge briefly nearing the quarter pole, but Blueskiesnrainbows shook him off and scooted clear to a 1 1/4-length victory under urging while finishing in 1:43.17 on a fast track.
"Everybody seems to think that he has to have the lead, but he doesn't necessarily," Pedroza said of the 2-1 favorite. "He's not really quick from the gate, so you have to send him to get position. Once you get him going though, he's OK. The reason we send him is because of that, he's not aggressive right away, so we send him. It worked out well and I got the lead all to myself today.
"He galloped out strong; I had to fight to pull him up."
Majestic Harbor smartly rallied under urging from Tyler Baze past midstretch, but the rider lost his whip in the final sixteenth. Although his mount gamely continued on, he would not catch the winner but outfinished Drill
by 2 1/4 lengths for second.
"I got a little excited with him and thought I was going to win, and dropped my stick," Baze said. "He's the kind of horse that acts like you need to ride him a little, and he likes the stick—he runs from it. I did the best I could with the trip I had. I'm real excited and hope I get to ride him back and everybody's happy."
Blueskiesnrainbows, whose dam is the Deputy Minister mare Cho Cho San, is an impressive 3-3-2 from nine starts at Santa Anita, including a game third-place finish to eventual Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner I'll Have Another
in the 2012 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I). He almost stole the Breeders' Cup Marathon (gr. II) Nov. 1 but was collared in deep stretch by London Bridge
and finished second.
Blueskiesnrainbows entered the San Pasqual off a gate-to-wire victory in the Native Diver Stakes (gr. III) Dec. 14. Overall, he has eight wins, including four stakes triumphs, and six placings from 23 career starts. He has bankrolled $669,552 for owners Kelly Mitchell of Bad Boy Racing and Stanley Whisenant of Whizway Farms and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.
Hollendorfer also sent out Rousing Sermon
, who was never a factor and finished fifth with Rafael Bejarano.
Blueskiesnrainbows paid $6.20, $4.20, and $2.80 while Majestic Harbor returned $15.20 and $5.20. The 2-5 exacta paid $54.30.