ARCADIA, CA – Glen Hill Farm’s homebred Caribou Club saved ground early before zipping through a gap in mid-stretch and taking off to win Tuesday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Joe Hernandez Stakes at Santa Anita.
Breaking from the far outside post 8 under Joe Talamo at 8/1 odds, Caribou Club soon relaxed at the rear as the field ran down the hillside. Conquest Tsunami raced along the outside of Cistron through opening fractions of :20.92 and :42.10 while the 4/5 favorite Stormy Liberal tracked from third. Straightening for home still with the lead, Conquest Tsunami’s lead began dwindling as Caribou Club found an opening to his inside and commenced his rally. With Stormy Liberal struggling to find his best footing in the middle of the lane, the Tom Proctor trainee was able to advance well enough to win by 1 1/4 lengths in a final time of 1:11.66 for the 6 1/2-furlong turf sprint.
“I had a big smile on my face when Conquest Tsunami moved himself out turning for home opening the rail for me,” Talamo said. “What a cool horse. I’m really grateful to be able to ride for Tom and Glen Hill. He gives his best every time.”
Stormy Liberal edged his Peter Miller stablemate for second by a 1/2-length, while Cistron nosed out Law Abidin Citizen for fourth. Calculator headed Pubilius Syrus for sixth, while Afleet Ascent completed the order of finish.
Caribou Club’s win was his second straight following the Grade 2 Seabiscuit Handicap at Del Mar last November and improved his overall record to 17-7-2-4. The 5-year-old gelded son of City Zip increased his lifetime bankroll to $504,744.
“It’s nice to win a race,” Proctor said. “I didn’t know him personally, but Joe Hernandez was calling the races here when I was a kid. He was great. He definitely had a distinctive voice with kind of a Spanish influence.”
Caribou Club returned $8.60 to win, $3.60 to place, and $2.40 to show. Stormy Liberal brought back $2.40 to place and $2.10 to show, while Conquest Tsunami paid $2.80 to show.