March 2, 2013
GAZEBO STAKES VICTORY MAKES THREE ON DAY FOR JOCKEY SANTANA JR.
HOT SPRINGS, AR (Saturday, March 2, 2013) – No jockey has been hotter as of late than Ricardo Santana Jr., who has won six races, including $60,000 Gazebo Stakes with King Henny. The six victories, three Friday and three Saturday, moved Santana Jr. into first place in the jockey standings with 27 wins, three more than Robby Albarado, who had been the leader since opening day.
Teaming with trainer Steve Asmussen for their second stakes win of the meet, Santana Jr. and King Henny skillfully tracked even-money favorite Titletown Five from third place through an opening half mile in 46 3/5. The winner came three wide into the stretch and gamely wore down the pacesetter to win by 1 ¼ lengths in a final time of 1:12 for six furlongs over a fast track. Malibu High, ridden by Calvin Borel, came flying late, but fell short of providing his rider with his long-awaited 5,000th win and had to settle for third.
“He broke perfect and got into a perfect position,” said Santana Jr. “When I called on him, he did what I wanted. I had a lot of horse in the stretch. I just want to thank God and my trainers for these wins yesterday and today.”
Stormy Holiday, Our Double Play, Vannistelrooy Star and Get Happy Minister, the previously unbeaten horse from Arapahoe Park, completed the order of finish.
The Gazebo was the fourth victory in seven starts for King Henny, a Henny Hughes colt owned by Erv Woolsey and Keith Asmussen, father of the trainer. He returned $23.80, $6.80 and $3.80. Santana Jr. and Asmussen had previously teamed to pull a similar upset in the Martha Washington Stakes with Sister Ginger Feb. 9.
Live racing resumes Sunday with a 1:30 p.m. first post.