Santa Anita H. (gr. I)

(gr. I , 10f ,)

HEATSEEKER (IRE) (CH h, 116 lb) $600,000
Giant's Causeway —Rusty Back , by Defensive Play
B—Richard F Barnes, IRE.; O—William Deburgh; T—Jerry Hollendorfer

Go Between (CH h, 118 lb) $200,000
Point Given —Mediation (IRE) , by Caerleon
B—Vegso Racing Stable, FL.; O—Peter Vegso; T—William I. Mott

Champs Elysees (GB) (B h, 117 lb) $120,000
Danehill —Hasili (IRE) , by Kahyasi (IRE)
B—Juddmonte Farms Inc, GB.; O—Juddmonte Farms, Inc.; T—Robert J. Frankel

Margins: ¾, 2¾, ½. Others: Tiago 119($60,000) , Zappa 114($20,000) , Student Council 117 , Awesome Gem 117 , Great Hunter 115 , Air Commander 116 , Big Booster 115 , Seminole Native 115 , Monterey Jazz 119 , Medici Code (GB) 115 , Celtic Dreamin 116 . Winning Jockey, Rafael Bejarano.

Irish-bred Heatseeker not only won the March 1 Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) for his biggest win yet, but he also set a 11¼4-mile Cushion track record of 2:00.42.

Although 5-year-old Heatseeker raced as close as fourth in the early going, the race appeared to belong to favorite Monterey Jazz. Monterey Jazz led by seven lengths after a half-mile and increased that lead to a dozen lengths after six furlongs. Monterey Jazz still led by six lengths at the quarter pole, but weakened in the stretch and finished 12th of 14. Heatseeker, at 7-1, rallied to win by three-quarters of a length over Go Between for owner William de Burgh.

The Santa Anita Handicap was Heatseeker’s first race at a distance as far as 11¼4 miles and came three weeks after a head loss in the San Antonio Handicap (gr. II) at 11¼8 miles at Santa Anita. In December, he captured his first stakes, the Native Diver Handicap (gr. III) in track-record time of 1:47.23 over Hollywood Park’s Cushion surface.

Heatseeker’s pedigree served him well at the 11¼4-mile distance. His sire, English and Irish champion Giant’s Causeway, won two group I stakes at 11¼4 miles, the Coral-Eclipse Stakes in England and Esat Digifone Irish Champion Stakes. He also captured the Juddmonte International Stakes (Eng-I) at about 15¼16 miles.

In the 2000 Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) at 11¼4 miles, Giant’s Causeway battled with Tiznow in deep stretch and finished just a neck behind that subsequent Horse of the Year.

Heatseeker’s broodmare sire, Defensive Play, also was a long distance runner. At 11¼4 miles, he won the Charles H. Strub Stakes (gr. I) at Santa Anita and the Excelsior Handicap (gr. II). His other big score came in the Man o’ War Stakes (gr. IT) at an additional furlong.

De Burgh, a bloodstock agent who lives in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., has been involved in racing for 30 years. He bought Heatseeker’s dam, Rusty Back, for $350,000 while the mare was carrying Heatseeker at the 2002 Keeneland November breeding stock sale from Eaton Sales, agent. Sent to Ireland, Rusty Back produced Heatseeker for Richard F. Barnes. Heatseeker won twice and was group I-placed in Ireland for Barnes before being exported to the U.S.

De Burgh owns California-based B.S.I. Management, which manages more than 60 horses. In partnership, he raced Irish-bred Kostroma, who captured the Yellow Ribbon Invitational Stakes (gr. IT) and Santa Barbara Handicap (gr. IT) at Santa Anita.

Heatseeker is the only living foal from Rusty Back, who died in 2007. She produced two foals, but both died.

Giant’s Causeway has sired 41 stakes winners, including additional 2008 added-money winners Cowboy Cal (gr. IIIT), Angliana, Giant Moon, and Causeway Queen (in Australia). Giant’s Causeway stands for $125,000 at Ashford Stud near Versailles, Ky.—D.S.