Going Wild, background, holds off So Long Birdie in the San Miguel Stakes.

Going Wild, background, holds off So Long Birdie in the San Miguel Stakes.


Going Wild Holds Off So Long Birdie in San Miguel

D. Wayne Lukas-trained Going Wild held off So Long Birdie by a nose in a driving finish to win the $104,762 San Miguel Stakes (gr. III) on the Martin Luther King Jr. Day card at Santa Anita.

Ridden by Mike Smith in the six-furlong event for 3-year-olds, Going Wild led virtually gate-to-wire, setting fractions of :21.51, :44.32, and :56.80, and was all-out to narrowly prevail. Going Wild covered the distance in 1:09.62 and paid $3 and $2.20 as the odds-on choice. So Long Birdie, with David Flores aboard, was second by four lengths and paid $3 to place. General John B and Fallfree completed the order of finish. Bushwacker and Senor Fango were scratched, reducing the field to four runners. There was no show wagering.

"It was a gallant effort on his part," Smith said. "He hung in and got the nod. I wasn't sure if I had it."

"We lost some time with (Going Wild) with the rain and everything and I knew he wasn't going to be as sharp as we were earlier," Lukas said. "But we got another win under him and we can build off this."

Lukas is fourth on the track's all-time list with 104 stakes wins, but his last stakes win at Santa Anita was March 12, 2003.

A son of Golden Missile--Pola (by Strawberry Road), Going Wild was bred in Kentucky by John O'Meara, Charlie Goldberg, and Richard Rosee, and was sold for $600,000 at the 2004 Fasig-Tipton Florida February 2-year-olds in training sale. The dark bay colt owned by Robert B. and Beverly J. Lewis has a 2-2-1 record from five starts, and has won both of his starts at Santa Anita. The $64,140 winner's share increased his earnings to $111,040.

(Chart, Equibase)