Runaway Dancer Should Relish Distance in Burke Handicap

Runaway Dancer Should Relish Distance in Burke Handicap
Photo: Benoit
Runaway Dancer goes after his second win in the Carleton F. Burke Handicap (gr. IIIT)
The salty 8-year-old gelding Runaway Dancer goes after his second win in the $100,000-added Carleton F. Burke Handicap (gr. IIIT) when he tackles nine rivals at Oak Tree's Santa Anita meeting at 1 1/2 miles on the turf Oct. 28.

Runaway Dancer, trained by Dan Hendricks, last won the long-distance event in 2003 at odds of 38-1 for his first graded stakes win. The gray son of Runaway Groom has run in 25 graded stakes at distances of nine furlongs or more in his career.

Runaway Dancer failed to menace last time out, finishing sixth in the Clement L. Hirsch Turf Championship (gr. IT) at 1 1/4 miles on Oct. 6.

“The added distance is important for him,” Hendricks said of the late runner. “He likes a mile-and-a-half. A mile-and-a-quarter is just too short for him.”

Runaway Dancer has an 8-5-5 record from 41 starts, with earnings of $838,284 for owners Kathleen and John Michael Kennedy of Larkspur, Calif., who race as R L Stables. Runaway Dancer won the 1 1/2-mile Sunset Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) at Hollywood Park in July, then came back with a second-place finish in the 11-furlong Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT), when he nosed Burke rival Spring House for second while finishing three-quarters of a length behind the victorious After Market.

Runaway Dancer was assigned top weight of 119 pounds and will be ridden by Alex Solis.

This time, the Julio Canani-trained Spring House will have the nation's leading rider, Garrett Gomez, aboard. Gomez plans to compete in Southern California this fall in preparation for the Santa Anita winter/spring meet. A 5-year-old Kentucky-bred gelding owned by R. D. Hubbard, Spring House has posted an overall record of 4-5-10 in 27 starts for earnings of $357,504. Spring House seeks his first graded stakes victory.

Trainer Neil Drysdale will send out British-bred One Off, who took the San Marcos Handicap (gr. IIT) at 1 1/4 miles last January at Santa Anita. One Off has been sidelined since finishing fifth to On the Acorn in the April 22 San Juan Capistrano Handicap (gr. IIT) at about 1 3/4 miles.

With regular rider Brice Blanc aboard, One Off returns to action off a steady series of long works by Drysdale on behalf of owners Burt and Jane Bacharach. A 7-year-old bay gelding who began his career in Great Britain, One Off sports a record of 9-5-1 in 30 races for earnings of $330,354.

Isipingo was closing but had to settle for third in the Clement Hirsch for trainer Craig Dollase. The 4-year-old Horse Chestnut gelding, who won three in a row in Southern California earlier this year, tries 12 furlongs for the first time.

$100,000 Carleton F. Burke Handicap (gr. IIIT, Race 8, 4 p.m.), 3 & Up, 1 1/2 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Spring House (KY), 115, Garrett K. Gomez
2. Runaway Dancer (KY), 117, Alex O. Solis
3. Porfido (CHI), 114, Joel Rosario
4. Niagara Causeway (KY), 113, Joseph Talamo
5. One Off (GB), 116, Brice Blanc
6. Rush Rush (KY), 115, Michael C. Baze
7. Republican Hawk (KY), 113, Mike E. Smith
8. Atlando (IRE), 116, Martin A. Pedroza
9. Caribbean (GB), 113, David R. Flores
10. Isipingo (KY), 115, Aaron T. Gryder

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