ARCADIA, CA – Horse racing rarely turns anyone into a millionaire, but Sareen Family Trust’s Om became the newest to join the seven-figure club after wiring a tough six-horse field in Saturday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Thunder Road Stakes at Santa Anita.
Breaking briskly from the outside under Flavien Prat, Om quickly took command as the field past the grandstand for the first time and headed into the first turn, setting sharp splits of :22.58, :45.75, and 1:10.11. Met with a challenge from Bowies Hero entering the far turn, Om dug in along the rail and held strong down the stretch, outlasting Bowies Hero by a 1/2-length in a final time of 1:33.54 for the mile-long turf event.
“He ran an incredible race,” Prat said. “Once he got in the lead, I was able to just let him go. (He) had great speed, and I knew that once we got on the inside, he would just carry it through. He remained calm and was able to hold them off. He’s incredibly fast and I just let him work.”
After sitting at the rear for much of the contest, Next Shares rallied through the far turn and was nearly up for second, finishing just a head behind Bowies Hero. Tequila Joe took fourth over the even-money favorite Blackjackcat, who ran second early but flattened out in the far turn. Ohio faded to sixth to complete the order of finish.
Om’s win his first since taking the Grade 2 Mathis Brothers Mile here on December 26, 2015. With a record now at 23-6-5-6, the Dan Hendricks trainee’s next stop will be the Grade 1 Kilroe Stakes here on March 10. The Kilroe is another mile-long race that Hendricks hopes will again play to the speed that the 6-year-old son of Munnings possesses.
“I was worried more at the 1/2-mile pole than I was at the 1/4-pole because he had gotten a little rank on Flavien after he got him out there that quickly,” Hendricks said. “He opened up a bigger lead than you ever want to open up, but he got him to relax great down the backside, and when they started to come to him at the 1/4-pole, you could tell he had a lot left.”
Om returned $11.40 to win, $4.80 to place, and $3.40 to show. Bowies Hero brought back $3.40 to place and $3 to show, while Next Shares paid $4 to show.