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Chewing Gum Ekes Out Joe Hernandez Triumph Over Beer Can Man
Chewing Gum (3) noses out Beer Can Man (Credit: Santa Anita)

Chewing Gum Ekes Out Joe Hernandez Triumph Over Beer Can Man

Magic recaps Chewing Gum eking out Beer Can Man to win Saturday’s Joe Hernandez Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita Park. Magic also discusses who he likes moving forward, including any potential price plays.

The track press release:

In a thrilling photo finish, Chewing Gum was up to win by a thin nose over favored Beer Can Man in Saturday’s Grade II, $250,000 Joe Hernandez Stakes at Santa Anita.

Named for the original Voice of Santa Anita, the Hernandez, originally scheduled to be run at 6 ½ furlongs off the track’s hillside turf course, was instead run at the same distance out of the 6 ½ furlong turf chute, with Chewing Gum, a 7-year-old full horse by Candy Ride, getting the distance under Umberto Rispoli in 1:15.27.  Trained by William Mott, Chewing Gum, who shipped in from his New York base, notched his first-ever stakes win in his 23rd career start.

Next to last with three furlongs to run, Beer Can Man saved ground at the rail around the turn, tipped out four-wide at the top of the lane and was just up.

Most recently third in an ungraded six furlong turf stakes Nov. 27 at Aqueduct, Chewing Gum was off at 5-1 in a field of seven older horses and paid $13.40, $4.20 and $3.00.

Owned by Pantofel Stable, Wachtel Stable and Jerold L. Zaro, Chewing Gum, who is out of the Forestry mare Shared Heart, is now 23-4-4-8 overall and with the winner’s share of $150,000, he increased his earnings to 591,788.

Beer Can Man, who pressed the issue throughout from his rail post position, was back in front a jump past the wire and finished 1 ½ lengths in front of French-bred Bran.  Off as the even money favorite under Flavien Prat, Beer Can Man paid $2.80 and $2.20.

Bran, who was making his U.S. debut under Joe Bravo, rallied five-deep at the top of the lane and was third best.  Off at 6-1, he paid $3.80 to show while finishing a neck better than English-bred Delaware.

Fractions on the race were 23.32, 46.10 and 1:09.26.