ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 26, 2014)—Breaking from the inside in a field of nine sophomore sprinters, Mind Your Biscuits sat a close third under Joel Rosario a quarter mile from home and overhauled Sharp Azteca late to take Monday’s Grade 1, $300,000 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita by a half-length as he covered seven furlongs in 1:20.81. Third, beaten 1 ¼ lengths here in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint on Nov. 5, Mind Your Biscuits, who is trained by Robert Falcone, Jr., posted his fourth win from nine starts this year.
Although Mind Your Biscuits returned to his Belmont Park base following the Breeders’ Cup (in which he was subsequently awarded second money due to the medical disqualification of runner-up Masochistic), he returned to Santa Anita to drill a bullet half mile in 47.20 on Dec. 18 and the sharp drill obviously served him well in the Malibu.
Although favored on the morning line, he was off as the second choice at 7-2 and paid $9.40, $5.00 and $3.20.
Owned by J Stables, Head of Plains Partners, LLC, Summers, Summers, Kisber and Summers, the New York-bred colt by Posse improved his overall mark to 13-4-4-3. With the winner’s share of $180,000, he increased his earnings to $675,366.
Ridden by Edgard Zayas, Sharp Azteca showed good speed throughout and was second best on the day, finishing 2 ¼ lengths in front of favored Ten Blessings. Off at 4-1, Sharp Azteca paid $5.00 and $3.40.
One of three Bob Baffert-trained runners, Ten Blessings, with Rafael Bejarano up, was mid-pack early and was third turning for home, but never threatened the top two. Off at 8-5, he paid $2.40 to show.
Fractions on the race were 22.16, 43.80 and 1:08.10.
Monday’s Winter Meet opening day crowd of 46,514 was up from last year’s 44,873. Total pari-mutuel handle of $18,363,495 was up roughly $900,000 over last year’s $17,406,122.
JOEL ROSARIO, MIND YOUR BISCUITS, WINNER: ”It’s worth the trip. Not a bad afternoon. It is always fun coming out here. I was a little concerned in the stretch. We were closer than we have ever been before. They were smoking up front. We got a little late kick and he took off.”
EDGARD ZAYAS, SHARP AZTECA, SECOND: “I think there was quite a bit of speed in that race. I let the horse go for a bit on the lead but I didn’t just want to give it to him so I had to put the pressure on a bit but that horse finished really strong. He’s a really nice horse and my horse ran his eyeballs out. I felt that he tried his hardest.”
RAFAEL BEJARANO, TEN BLESSINGS, THIRD: “We got a good trip and we were in a good position at the 3/8ths pole. We kept running, but they were really running up front. They did 1:20 and we would have had to run 1:19 to beat them.”
MIKE SMITH, MOR SPIRIT, FOURTH: “He got knocked around a little bit leaving the chute, then after that it was hard to catch them. He kept coming, but they didn’t stop. He’ll get a lot out of that.”
ROBERT FALCONE JR., MIND YOUR BISCUITS, WINNER: “This is great for him. He bounced out of the Breeders’ Cup great, and he gets over the track so well. He just proved today, again, that he’s a great horse. He’s a real nice horse. It feels great.”
Source: Santa Anita Park