ARCADIA , Calif. (March 2, 2013)—In a desperate finish, Argentine-bred Suggestive Boy, ridden by Joe Talamo, held off the late charge of Silentio and Rafael Bejarano to win Saturday’s Grade I, $300,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile (turf) by a nose, providing Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally with his 700th career win at Santa Anita while getting the distance in 1:32.89.
“Seven hundred wins at Santa Anita? I thought it was 700 for everywhere,” said McAnally, who became a household word in the early 1980s as the trainer of the legendary gelding John Henry. “We’ve always felt (Suggestive Boy) was a good horse…The only thing I told Joe was to keep him relaxed no matter what the pace is.
“As a rule, he likes a good pace up front because he has a good turn of foot turning for home. Turning for home today I really thought we had a good chance because he was in the clear and that’s all it takes. A good horse will make anybody.”
Irish-bred Vagabond Shoes was sent to lead and took the field of eight to the top of the stretch through fractions of 22.88, 46.64, 1:09.97 and 1:21.42.
Suggestive Boy, on the strength of a 2 ½ length win in the Grade II Arcadia Stakes on Feb. 2, was off as the 3-2 favorite and sat mid-pack into the Club House turn and made the lead in a three wide bid turning for home.
Suggestive Boy paid $5.00, $3.40 and $2.80. Owned by Pozo de Luna, Inc., the 5-year-old Suggestive Boy picked up $180,000 for the win—boosting his earnings to $677,370. His record stands at 13-7-2-0.
“I tell you what, that (Winner’s Circle) picture is going up on my wall,” said Talamo. “I’ve always wanted to win a big stake for Mr. McAnally. He did an unbelievable job with this horse, he was very fresh today and I just had to point him in the right direction.”
Silentio, off at 5-1, broke from the rail, sat in behind the winner to the first turn and was roughly two lengths off the lead at the top of the stretch.
“At the eighth pole, I thought my horse was just kind of lengthening his stride, and maybe we’d get lucky and Joe would move too early,” said Silentio’s trainer, Gary Mandella . “But watching these horses gallop out, in another sixteenth of a mile, I still don’t think my horse is going to get by…It’s going to take a hell of a horse to beat Suggestive Boy.
Silentio, who finished 1 ¼ lengths in front of Fed Biz and Mike Smith, paid $4.60 and $3.40.
Fed Biz, in his first try on grass, finished a nose in front of Mr. Commons and Corey Nakatani.
Fed Biz returned $4.40 to show.
Run as the Arcadia Handicap from 1960 through 1990, McAnally won a division of the race in 1973 with Kobuk King. Talamo won the race for the first time today.