|SAN SIMEON H.|
2nd at 5SAN SIMEON H.
(gr. IIIT , abt 6.5f , to Mr Gruff, defeating Ever a Friend, Canonize, Cherokee Heaven, Trumpet Player Jay, Tiz West ).
Mr Gruff continued to build on his reputation as a downhill turf course specialist and extended his win streak to four when he captured the April 17 San Simeon Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Santa Anita Park for the second straight year.
The 6-year-old son of Mr. Greeley, who became only the second back-to-back winner of the 61Ú2-furlong event, improved his record to 5-2-0 from eight starts, for earnings of $229,680.
Providing trainer Ron Ellis with his third victory of the day, Mr Gruff completed the San Simeon in 1:11.53 after having scored in 1:11.88 the previous year. Only stakes record holder Glick has run faster with a 1:11.46 clocking in 2004. Only Champagne Bid in 1983-84 had previously won back-to-back runnings of the race.
Following his 2009 triumph in the San Simeon, Mr Gruff had gone to the sidelines for 11 months. ÒIt was just his back,Ó explained Ellis. According to the trainer, Mr Gruff was sent to owner Gary BroadÕs Oakmont farm near Temecula, Calif. ÒThey fixed him up and sent him back 110%,Ó said Ellis.
Mr Gruff, who was a $110,000 yearling at the 2005 Keeneland September sale, was bought for $200,000 by Broad and his wife, Wendy, at the Barretts March 2-year-old sale from Kirkwood Stables, agent.
Bred in Kentucky by Robert Spiegel, Mr Gruff is the first foal out of the graded stakes-winning Clever Trick mare Ruff, who scored her big victory in the 2000 Miss Grillo Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Belmont Park. She is boarded at Catherine ParkeÕs Valkyre Stud near Georgetown, Ky.
Mr Gruff is the third generation bred by Spiegel, who is represented by earlier homebred graded stakes winners Ask Anita and Club Champ. Spiegel is also the breeder of grade I victor Milwaukee Brew.
Since Mr Gruff, Ruff has produced two more winners. She most recently delivered a Sharp Humor filly April 8.
Mr. Greeley is the sire of 49 stakes winners, including other 2010 added-money winner Queen Greeley. Mr. Greeley stands for $50,000 at Gainesway near Lexington.ÑE.M.
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