Sea Pleasure Springs Americana Surprise

(from track report)
Reminding some of the late stretch-running style of his sire, Mecke, Sea Pleasure came from last at the top of the lane to win the $100,000 Americana Handicap on Independence Day at Calder Race Course Friday.

Jockey Jesus Castanon rode Sea Pleasure, the 15-to-1 shot, perfectly to a three-quarter length victory over Stauch. Mr. Livingston, at 9-5, and 3-2 choice Love the Game finished third and fourth, respectively. The only 3-year-old in the race, the Florida bred bay colt covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:51 1/5 over a turf course labeled "good."

"He broke a step slow out of the gate and I didn't want to rush him up," Castanon said. "I knew there was going to be a couple of horses with speed. He settled down perfectly fine and I just waited for the hole down the lane. I got lucky and put him through it and he went on."

Sea Pleasure is trained by Manny Tortora and owned by James Lewis, Jr., the same team that guided Mecke to an impressive career that boasted over $2.4 million in earnings. Sea Pleasure earned $60,000.

"Like most Meckes, he wants to come from out of it," Tortora said. "He got beat several times earlier in his career by being up too close, but it's basically a matter of maturity and they fall into it (relaxing off pace). He might be a little better on grass but he can run on the dirt, too. To this day I couldn't tell you whether Mecke was better on the grass or the dirt and the same for Supah Blitz (by Mecke)."

Sea Pleasure paid $32.60, $13.40 and $6. Stauch returned $8.20 and $4.40. Mr. Livingston showed for $3. The $2 exacta was worth $184.

(Chart, Equibase)