Trainer Richard Mandella, closed out Oak Tree meet with stakes win.

Trainer Richard Mandella, closed out Oak Tree meet with stakes win.

Anne M. Eberhardt

Mandella Ends 'Crazy' Oak Tree Meet with Win

(from Oak Tree reports)
Richard Mandella, who made history by winning four Breeders' Cup races on Oct. 25, closed out the Oak Tree meeting at Santa Anita in style Sunday by winning the $74,150 Avigaition Stakes with 7-5 favorite Crazy Ensign.

The 53-year-old Hall of Fame trainer also saddled Dessert, who prompted the pace in the 1 1/8-mile race on turf before fading to seventh and last.

Crazy Ensign, ridden by Alex Solis, rallied from last to win by a half-length over Garden in the Rain, the 2-1 second choice ridden by Julie Krone. Adalgisa led briefly into the stretch but weakened to third, one length behind Garden in the Rain.

"I wasn't concerned being that far back because I thought they were going a good pace," said Solis, who won 27 races during the 32-day session, 10 of them stakes.

Solis was third in total victories among jockeys, behind Patrick Valenzuela's 34 and Tyler Baze, 33. Doug O'Neill won a meet-record 22 races to take the training title. Mandella had seven stakes victories. Bob and Beverly Lewis won the owners' division with six wins.

Crazy Ensign, a 7-year-old Argentine-bred daughter of Firery Ensign, paid $4.80 and covered the distance in 1:46.17 under high weight of 120 pounds. She earned $44,490 for her ninth victory from 30 starts. The gray mare has earned $563,557 for El Faruk Stable.

Go On Baby, a 19-1 shot ridden by Tyler Baze, set fractions on of :22.98, :45.93, 1:09.65 and 1:34.14 on a firm course. Solis split rivals in midstretch, gained the lead in deep stretch and held off Garden in the Rain in a driving finish.

Racing resumes on the Southern California circuit at Hollywood Park on Tuesday.

(Chart, Equibase)