Bourbon Bay in the 2011 San Marcos Stakes.

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Bourbon Bay in the 2011 San Marcos Stakes.
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Benoit Photography

Bourbon Bay Tastes Success in San Marcos

The winner of last year's turf marathons at Santa Anita is back for more

David and Jill Heerensperger’s Bourbon Bay is at it again. After sweeping Santa Anita Park’s series of turf route races a year ago, Bourbon Bay signaled a possible encore with a stylish victory in the Jan. 17, $150,000 San Marcos Stakes (gr. IIT) (VIDEO) .

Under jockey Rafael Bejarano, Bourbon Bay sat in third position for most of the 10-furlong San Marcos, which went in honest fractions of :23.91, :47.81, 1:11.84, and 1:35.83. Coming out of the final turn Bourbon Bay unleashed the winning move, taking charge and drawing off by 1 ¾ lengths in 2:00.03.

“I was pretty comfortable the whole way, in great position,” said Bejarano. “When I saw the favorite (Champ Pegasus) was let go, I thought I had more horse. As soon as I got the opportunity, I tried to get the first jump and let my horse go.”

Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT) runner-up Champ Pegasus settled for second as the San Marcos favorite, finishing 1 ¼ lengths ahead of Sebastian Flyte, who was third.

“He (Champ Pegasus) just ran out of training at the eighth pole,” said his trainer, Richard Mandella.

Bourbon Bay is a 5 year old gelded son of Sligo Bay-Coral Necklace, by Conquistador Cielo. He was bred in Kentucky by Adena Springs, which on the same day as the San Marcos won the Eclipse Award for breeding excellence in 2010. Neil Drysdale is the winning conditioner.