Om holds off Bowies Hero and Next Shares to win the Thunder Road Stakes at Santa Anita Park

Om holds off Bowies Hero and Next Shares to win the Thunder Road Stakes at Santa Anita Park

Benoit Photo

Om Back to Winning Ways in Thunder Road

Son of Munnings last won in December of 2015.

It was a long time coming for K.B. Sareen's Om, but he finally found his way back into the winner's circle Feb. 10 at Santa Anita Park.

The 6-year-old son of Munnings , who probably is best known for his victory over eventual Triple Crown winner American Pharoah  as a 2-year-old at Del Mar in 2014, hadn't won in so long that his last victory slipped off his past-performance page.

In the $100,000 Thunder Road Stakes (G3T), however, the Dan Hendricks-trained chestnut took control of the race early and just held on late to win the one-mile race by a half-length. It was his first win since December of 2015, when he won the Mathis Brothers Mile Stakes (G2T) at Santa Anita.

Under jockey Flavien Prat for the first time, Om shot to the lead and when he completed the first quarter-mile in :22.58 he was in front by six lengths.

"Once entries were taken and we had the outside post, and there wasn't a dominant speed horse in there like there's been in all his races recently, we decided to just go ahead and get him on the lead, like he's very comfortable doing," Hendricks said.

The chestnut extended his lead to seven lengths through a half-mile in :45.75, and that's when his trainer got a bit concerned.

"I was worried more at that half-mile pole than I was (after a quarter-mile), because he had gotten a little rank on Flavien after he got him out there that quickly," Hendricks said. "He got a bigger lead than you ever want to open up, but he got him to relax great down the backside."

Last-out Mathis Brothers Mile winner Bowies Hero pulled up to Om in the second turn and appeared to be ready to breeze by, but the front-runner never gave in on the inside and maintained a half-length advantage to the wire to finish off a mile in 1:33.54 on firm turf.

"He ran an incredible race," Prat said. "Once he got the lead, I was able to just let him go. (He) had great speed and I knew that once we got on the inside, he would just carry it through. He remained calm and was able to hold them off. He's incredibly fast and I just let him work."

Next Shares closed well from last in the six-horse field to finish third, a head behind Bowies Hero. Even-money favorite Blackjackcat, who raced in second early, faded late to finish fifth.

"He was flat," said Blackjackcat's trainer, Mark Glatt. "We're just gonna have to regroup here and make sure everything is OK."

Bred in Kentucky by Lavin Bloodstock, Bernie Sams, and William Farish Jr., out of the Tabasco Cat mare Rare Cat, Om became a millionaire with his Thunder Road victory and has a 6-5-6 record from 23 starts. Although he carried a 12-race winless streak into Saturday, Om placed in eight of those races and all of those placings were in graded stakes.

Video: Thunder Road S. (G3T)