ARCADIA, Calif. (May 14, 2016)—Breaking from the far outside in a field of seven sophomore colts and geldings, I Will Score made the lead while securing the rail and virtually made every pole a winning one as he took Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Lazaro Barrera Stakes by a neck under Martin Garcia. Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, the Kentucky-bred colt by Roman Ruler prevailed over Mrazek late and got seven furlongs in 1:21.30.
“You know, I wanted him to get away from the gate good, which he did,” said Hollendorfer. “Martin thought they were going a bit fast so he took hold of him, to save horse. They got up (at the wire) and finished it.”
Second at odds of 3-2 in a six furlong stakes at Oaklawn Park on April 15, I Will Score, who is owned by his breeder, Hans Poetsch, was the 3-1 second choice in the race and paid $8.80, $4.40 and $3.20. In garnering his first stakes win, I Will Score improved his overall mark to 6-3-1-1. With the winner’s share of $60,000, he increased his earnings to $173,145.
Ridden by Mario Gutierrez and trained by Doug O’Neill, Reddam Racing’s homebred Mrazek, a California-bred colt by Square Eddie, broke sharply but soon found himself between dueling leaders I Will Score and Smokey Image.
“He wins that race nine out of 10 times, I’d say,” said Paul Reddam. “Smokey Image came to us on the outside, so Mario decided he didn’t want to be in between two guys in the middle of a three-way duel. If he comes out of this good, we’ll probably ship to New York and run in the Woody Stephens (Grade II, seven furlongs) on Belmont Day (June 11).
A winner versus statebreds of the 5 ½ furlong Graduation Stakes two starts back on Aug. 5, Mrazek, who finished 3 ¼ lengths in front of Smokey Image, was off at 7-2 and paid $3.60 and $3.00.
Ridden by Victor Espinoza, Smokey Image was also off at 7-2 and paid $3.80 to show.
O’Neill’s Denman’s Call, who was the solid 8-5 favorite, was never a factor and finished fifth, 6 ¾ lengths behind the winner.
Fractions on the race were 22.62, 44.68 and 1:08.83.
Earlier in the day, 3-5 favorite Arcature prevailed by a diminishing head over Tristan’s Trilogy to win the $75,000 Singletary Stakes at one mile on turf. A 3-year-old Kentucky-bred colt by Archarcharch, Arcature, who was ridden by Flavien Prat and is trained by Simon Callaghan, paid $3.40, $2.20 and $2.10.
Owned by Arnold Zetcher, LLC, Arcature picked up his first stakes win and his second win from four overall starts. Second early, Arcature took over from pacesetter Mr. Roary a quarter mile out and was all-out to hold off the runner-up late. Fractions on the race were 23.76, 48.03, 1:12.06 and 1:23.95.
First post time for a nine-race card on Sunday is at 2 p.m. Admission gates open at 11:30 a.m.
MARTIN GARCIA, I WILL SCORE, WINNER: “Jerry (Holendorfer) told me to see how the race happens and to go from there. My horse broke really sharp, so I took advantage.
When asked if the addition of blinkers in his more recent races, or maturity is the determining factor with I Will Score’s success: “He was just learning before, in his previous races. Now, he’s a more mature horse, he’s a better horse. He can run anywhere (regarding running style).”
JERRY HOLLENDORFER, I WILL SCORE, WINNER: “You know, I wanted him to get away from the gate good, which he did. Martin thought they were going a bit fast so he took hold of him, to save horse. They got up and finished it.”
PAUL REDDAM, OWNER MRAZEK, SECOND: “He wins that race nine out of 10 times, I’d say. Smokey Image came to us on the outside, so Mario decided he didn’t want to be in between two guys in the middle of a three-way duel. If he comes out of this good, we’ll probably ship to New York and run in the Woody Stephens (Grade II, seven furlongs) on Belmont Day.”
NOTES: Winning owner and breeder Hans Poetsch is from Scottsdale, AZ.