ARCADIA, CA – Second in this race a year ago, owner/trainer Eric Kruljac’s Causeforcommotion turned the tables in a major way on Saturday, clearing away with tremendous ease to win Santa Barbara Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita Park.
Breaking from post 2 as the 6/5 favorite under Geovanni Franco, Causeforcommotion raced within a length of early leader Animosity through fractions of :24.86, :48.01, 1:12.51, and 1:37.35 for the opening mile. Moving up to take the lead in the far turn, Causeforcommotion passed the pacesetter with relative ease, then exploded at the top of the stretch.
With just a single crack from Franco, Causeforcommotion drew off impressively, crossing with a 9-length advantage in a final time of 2:26.91 for the 1 1/2-mile event over the firm turf course.
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“She was getting really good a year ago, and then she had to be turned out for a little vacation, so we’ve been waiting a long time,” Franco said. “Eric was confident she would run well because of the way she’s been training. She’s still improving from what she showed last year. As you saw, she just galloped through the stretch.”
Lynne’s Legacy came rallying from the rear late to take second over Giuliana, who necked out a weakening Animosity for third. Kodiak West failed to fire after stalking the early pace and finished fifth to complete the order of finish. Queen Bee to You was scratched.
Causeforcommotion’s win was her first since taking the Possibly Perfect Stakes here last June and improved her overall record to 16-4-5-3. The 5-year-old daughter of Americain has now earned $263,910 for co-owners Kruljac, E. Dunham, Jim Reed, and S. and D. Yip.
“She makes it easier to get up in the morning,” said Kruljac. “We had to give her a little time, she had a little injury/mishap, an issue with a suspensory, but we caught it early at Del Mar and instead of giving her three months off, we gave her six or seven. She has come back a monster. Before she would not leave horses, hopefully that is all behind her. She had the tendency to get the lead and then wait on them, (that’s why) we lost a couple of races, including last year’s Santa Barbara.”
Causeforcommotion returned $4.40 to win, $2.60 to place, and $2.10 to show. Lynne’s Legacy brought back $3.80 to place and $2.40 to show, while Guiliana paid $2.40 to show.