ARCADIA, CA – Fan favorite Itsinthepost rallied late to take home Saturday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Charles Whittingham Stakes at Santa Anita Park.
Itsinthepost has become an absolute monster on the Southern California turf circuit over the past four years, and Saturday’s Grade 2 Charles Whittingham Stakes just the latest triumph in his long list of stakes victories. Filling in for the injury Tyler Baze was Julien Leparoux as he guided the 6-year-old French-bred gelding to a never-in-doubt one and one-quarter length victory. Baze was unable to ride today, but he was coaching up Leparoux before the race.
“Tyler (Baze) talked to me just before the race in the paddock. I heard I might ride him but I wasn’t sure and found out for sure today. I wish Tyler a fast recovery and it’s always bad to get hurt but especially before these big days. The setup looked great for us before the race. The three horse was on the inside, we were on the speed. We tracked him and made a move on the outside. It was a pretty easy race and he won nicely.”
The early pace was set by What a View, with eventually second place finisher Kenjisstorm sitting not far off in second. This left Itsinthepost in the perfect stalking position while sitting in third, and was quick to pounce when turning for home. This strategy is something Santa Anita followers have seen several times over the last few years.
Earlier in the year Itsinthepost won three straight graded stakes events before shipping to Keeneland and finishing third in the Grade 2 Elkhorn Stakes. He ran well in that spot, but a return to Santa Anita did him quite well on Saturday.
“He’s by far the most consistent horse I’ve had, especially at the marathon (grass) distances. He’s just solid. The horsed puts himself where he needs to be in a race and if the pace is quick enough, he can get it done, and even when the pace isn’t quick enough, sometimes.”
Itsinthepost returned $3.80 to win, $ 2.40 to place, and $2.10 to show. Kenjisstorm brought back $4.60 to place and $3.00 to show, while Frank Conversation paid $4.00 to show.