San Antonio H. (gr. II)

(gr. II , 9f ,)

MAGNUM (ARG) (DK B/ g, 114 lb) $120,000
El Compinche (ARG) —Merrymaker (ARG) , by Rainbow Corner (GB)
B—La Quebrada, ARG.; O—Herrick Racing LLC; T—Darrell Vienna

Well Armed (B g, 119 lb) $40,000
Tiznow —Well Dressed , by Notebook
B—WinStar Farm, LLC, KY.; O—WinStar Farm LLC; T—Eoin G. Harty

Tiago (B h, 119 lb) $24,000
Pleasant Tap —Set Them Free , by Stop the Music
B—Mr. & Mrs. Jerome S. Moss, KY.; O—Moss, Mr. and Mrs. Jerome S.; T—John A. Shirreffs

Margins: 1, 2¼, 1. Others: Informed 113($8,000) , Dakota Phone 116($8,000) , Marchfield 118 , Champs Elysees (GB) 120 , Racketeer 112 . Winning Jockey, Joel Rosario.

Just when things started looking bleak for Argentine-bred Magnum, who since the summer of 2006 had experienced an eight-race losing streak, the 8-year-old gelding pulled off an impressive victory in the Feb. 8 San Antonio Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park.

Even more notable than Magnum ending his winless drought at odds of 16-1 was the fact he beat such an accomplished field, which included grade I winners Well Armed, Tiago, and Champs Elysees.

Toting 114 pounds, Magnum completed the 11Ú8-mile test on the Pro-Ride surface in 1:49.14.

Conditioned by Darrell Vienna, the son of El Compinche (by Southern Halo) was second by three-quarters of a length to Lava Man in the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) in 2006. But after winning the Lone Star Handicap (gr. III) one month later, he went into a tailspin.

Back on track with the San Antonio triumph, Magnum boosted his earnings to $819,249 for owners Bill and Donna Mae Herrick while improving his lifetime record to 6-3-3 from 26 starts.

Alone or in partnership, the Herricks have campaigned other graded stakes winners Disturbingthepeace, Short Route, Medici Code, Nuclear Debate, Lasersport, Robyn Dancer, and Classy Women. Magnum was their first black-type victor since 2007.

Sidelined in 2007 due to complications from an undescended testicle, Magnum was gelded prior to his last outing, a third-place finish in the Jan. 10 San Pasqual Handicap (gr. II), also at Santa Anita.

Having made his first eight starts in his native Argentina for De Mas de Dos S.R.L., Magnum was sent to the United States in 2005, where he has campaigned mostly on the West Coast circuit under the HerricksÕ Herrick Racing banner.

Magnum was bred by La Quebrada from the unraced Rainbow Corner mare Merrymaker, who is a half-sister to group I winner Merry Sweet, the dam of group I winners Masterpiece and Manpower.

All five of MerrymakerÕs foals to race are winners, including her first foal, group I winner Medal of Honor, a full brother to Magnum and ArgentinaÕs champion sprinter in 2005.

Merrymaker has a juvenile Dynaformer colt and a yearling Ghostzapper filly, who were both bred by Jess JacksonÕs Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings in Kentucky. Boarded at the Lexington-based operation, the 13-year-old mare is expected to deliver a More Than Ready foal in May.

El Compinche is the sire of nine stakes winners. The son of Southern Halo and two-time Argentine champion stood at Haras La Quebrada until his death in 2005.ÑE.M.