Taking full advantage of a speed bias on Santa Anita's sealed main track, Frumious ran away from the field to register a 5 3/4-length victory in the $150,000 Palos Verdes Stakes (gr. II) Jan. 21 (VIDEO) .
Frumious, a California-bred 6-year-old son of Grindstone out of the Gold Legend mare Eternal Legend, earned his first stakes victory for trainer Jeff Bonde and owners George and Mary Clare Schmitt.
The dark bay/brown gelding ran his current winning streak to three while completing the six-furlong event in a sparkling 1:07.28 on a wet fast track with Antonio Castanon aboard. The time was slightly off the track mark of 1:06.98 set Dec. 26, 2010 by The Factor .
Frumious could be pointed to the $2 million Golden Shaheen (UAE-I) in Dubai March 31, according to Mersad Metanovic, a bloodstock agent and consultant to the winning connections.
Champion sprinter Amazombie was scratched after early-morning rain by trainer Bill Spawr, as was Canonize. That reduced the Palos Verdes field to six, with California Cup Sprint winner Courtside sent off as the 19-10 choice.
Frumious, who earned a 104 Beyer speed figure while wiring an optional claiming field over the track Dec. 31, popped the gate at odds of 6-1 and was quickly in command over Galientos. The latter was making his stakes debut for trainer Steve Asmussen as the longest shot in the field at 12-1 odds. Frumious zipped an opening quarter mile in :21.06 and the half in :42.77 while opening a daylight lead over Galientos, who was ridden by Corey Nakatani.
“You could see that the speed of the races was fast today," Castanon said. "This race was going to be one of the fastest races today, so I just let my horse run his own race because I know he has a lot of speed. I didn’t expect to be on the lead so soon, and when I ended up there I just let my horse run.”
Racing along the inside, Frumious extended his advantage rounding the bend as Galientos fought to stay close. But there was no getting to the winner, who opened up by 2 1/2 lengths in mid-stretch and came home under some right-handed urging well in front.
A tiring Galientos gamely held on for second by a neck over Mensa Heat, ridden by Rafael Bejarano. Grade I winner Euroears, now expected to be retired for stallion duty in Oklahoma by owners James and Marilyn Helzer, finished a non-threatening fourth as the 123-pound high weight. He was followed by another grade I winner, M One Rifle. Courtside, who tried to go with the leaders early, gave way on the turn and weakened to finish last.
Bred by JayArDee Stables, Frumious earned his sixth triumph in 15 lifetime starts. He boosted his earnings to $259,192 with the winning share of $90,000.
Frumious had not finished in the money in three previous stakes attempts and could have been claimed for $40,000 two races back.
“I’m ecstatic for everybody who works with this horse," Metanovic said. "That was the plan from the beginning (to take the lead). We’d been jawing back and forth with the (John) Sadler camp. They thought they had the fastest horse (in Courtside).
“Right before the race, I said I’ll bet you guys a thousand dollars at the quarter, at the half, and at the finish, we will be first," Metanovic added. "That’s how good the horse is doing right now. He’s training out-of-his-mind super. It is a credit to Jeff and George Schmitt for giving the horse time to come back to the races.
"They gelded him, they brought him back, he had a few little issues, but Jeff and his assistant, Miguel Carranza, did a phenomenal job in bringing this horse back. There’s nobody that can run with him. Maybe they can catch him late, but they’re not going to go with him. That’s a fact.”
The winner carried 119 pounds and paid $14.60, $7.20, and $4 as the second-longest chance in the field. Galientos returned $9 and $3.60 and completed a $123.80 exacta. Mensa Heat paid $3 to show.