ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 27, 2013)—Longshot Bio Pro, with Mario Gutierrez aboard, took advantage of a fast pace set by favored El Commodore and Gary Stevens to win Sunday’s $70,000 Lure Stakes at Santa Anita by 3 ¼ lengths, as the Howard Zucker trainee motored a mile on the turf in 1:33.48.
With eventual second place finisher My Best Brother, ridden by Rafael Bejarano, pressuring him throughout, El Commodore, off at 2-1 in the 10-horse Lure, rolled through splits of 22.42, 45.50 and 1:09.41.
“We knew Rafael’s horse was going to go, but this is the way my horse has to run,” said Stevens, who had four winners earlier on the card. “He’s the kinda horse, you just gotta let him rock and roll. He’s a smart horse and you can’t take a hold of him.”
Off at 8-1, Bio Pro, who had been idle since Aug. 17 at Del Mar, broke from the rail and sat a very comfortable third until the field turned for home.
“It was a hot pace,” said Gutierrez. “My horse was sitting comfortable, not really pulling. It couldn’t have set up any better for us. He’s always had a big kick near the end, so the quick pace up front left me with plenty at the end. He was tough to pull up on the gallop out.”
A 5-year-old Kentucky-bred gelding by War Front, Bio Pro was running in claiming races this past winter at Santa Anita, but was an allowance winner at Del Mar on July 27.
“This is a long way from a maiden twenty,” said Zucker, in reference to Bio Pro’s maiden triumph at Santa Anita Jan. 13. “He has a tendency to hang when he gets to the front, but he’s so fresh right now that that didn’t happen today. He was just galloping the first part.
“We have always felt that this horse had the ability to be a really good horse and I think he’s coming around…He ran a couple of races at Del Mar with big numbers and now he really fired a big one on the right day. This is a totally heart-wrenching win.”
Owned by William Marks, Bio Pro paid $19.60, $8.20 and $5.00. With the winner’s share of $45,000, he hiked his earnings to $159,690. His overall mark now stands at 15-4-4-2.
My Best Brother, the third choice in the wagering at 5-1, broke from post nine and pressed El Commodore throughout, made the lead inside the furlong but was no match for the winner late. My Best Brother finished second, a half length in front of the favorite and paid $6.20 and $3.40.
El Commodore paid $3.20 to show.
There is a massive two-day carryover into Thursday at Santa Anita of $439,664, and it is expected the total pool will exceed $2 million.
There is an eight-race card on Thursday and the Pick Six will cover races three through eight. First post time is 1 p.m.
Santa Anita Park is a Stronach Group company, North America’s leading Thoroughbred racetrack owner/operator. The Stronach Group racetracks include Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park & Casino, Golden Gate Fields, Portland Meadows, Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, home of the world-famous Preakness. The company owns and operates the Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida, and is one of North America’s top race horse breeders through its award-winning Adena Springs operation. The Stronach Group is one of the world’s largest suppliers of pari-mutuel wagering systems, technologies and services. Its companies include AmTote, a global leader in wagering technology; Xpressbet, an Internet and telephone account wagering service; and Monarch Content Management, which acts as a simulcast purchase and sales agent of horseracing content for numerous North American racetracks and wagering outlets.The Stronach Group is also a major producer of televised horseracing programming through its HRTV cable and satellite network and is North America’s premier supplier of virtual online horseracing games, as well as a leading producer of social media content for the horseracing industry.