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ARCADIA, CA – Alfred Pais homebred Brickyard Ride landed back on top and in the winner’s circle with a dominating runaway score in Saturday’s $100,000 Thor’s Echo Handicap at Santa Anita Park.
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Breaking from post 5 under Juan Hernandez as the 8/5 favorite in the field of six California-bred or sired older males, Brickyard Ride shot straight to the lead and posted opening fractions of :22.62 and :45.16 while maintaining a 1 1/2-length lead on the backstretch.
Still uncontested as he rounded the far turn, the Craig Lewis trainee drew off impressively to post a 4 3/4-length victory.
The final time for the 6-furlong fast dirt sprint was 1:09.34.
“Craig told me a clean break with him was the key today,” Hernandez said. “I never bothered him; he felt comfortable the whole way. It felt like he ran faster when I worked him the other day than he ran today. I looked at 3 or 4 replays of his races and it looked like today, he relaxed a little better.”
The 5/2 second choice Colt Fiction, runner-up by 1 1/4 lengths ahead of Fashionably Fast, kept his perfect on-the-board record intact in dirt events (9-5-0-4).
Loud Mouth and Jamming Eddy completed the order of finish.
Whooping Jay pulled up in the stretch and walked off under his own power.
Brickyard Ride’s win, his third of the year following local triumphs in the Cal Cup Sprint Stakes and the San Carlos Stakes (G2), reversed his recent 2-race losing streak. The 4-year-old Clubhouse Ride colt’s record improved to 16-8-1-2 with $464,477 earned.
“I thought with the little time off he had between races, it wouldn’t hurt him,” Pais said. “If he broke and if we got a realistic opening 1/4 mile… He goes fast easily, but today, there was nobody pushing him. It’s good to have Juan. He’s an experienced rider and he makes good decisions.”
Brickyard Ride returned $5.20 to win, $3.60 to place, and $2.60 to show. Colt Fiction brought back $3.20 to place and $2.20 to show. Fashionably Fast paid $2.60 to show.
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