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ARCADIA, CA – Owner/trainer Val Brinkerhoff’s consistent 6-year-old gelding Restrainedvengence kept to his task and overhauled favored Neptune’s Storm late to notch his first-ever graded stakes victory as he took Sunday’s $100,000 American Stakes (G3) by a 1/2-length at Santa Anita.
Ridden by Tyler Baze, Restrainedvengence got 1 mile on turf in 1:33.87.
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With longshot Sash gunning from his outside post, Neptune’s Storm tracked him while second by 1 1/2 lengths as Restrainedvengence sat third by a similar margin around the clubhouse turn.
Heading to the 1/4 pole, it appeared Neptune’s Storm, who was ridden by Flavien Prat, had matters in hand as he reeled in Sash and took charge turning for home.
But Restrainedvengence had plenty left to say as he wheeled three-deep at the top of the lane while about 2 lengths off the lead and gradually gained the ascendency inside the 1/16 pole to win going away.
“First of all, I’m most thankful to have Tyler stick with the horse because I haven’t been able to get anyone to stick with my horse,” said Brinkerhoff, who purchased the horse for $65,000 as a Keeneland September Yearling. “He likes him and he’s come to know him. To a win a graded stakes at Santa Anita for me is just the best thing that ever happened for a long time.
“When I first got him and broke him, I mean he’s been a handful, but you love him because he’s so good. He’s just hard to deal with. When he wants to do something, I just give up and let him do it, and then we go back and start over. I think his attitude has made him be a champion because he want to do what he wants to do and he loves to run.”
A Kentucky-bred by the Giant’s Causeway stallion Hold Me Back, Restrainedvengence, who was most recently third in the Shoemaker Mile (G1) here on May 31, was off at 3/1 in a field of six 3-year-olds and up and paid $8.80, $3.60 and $2.60.
“He always tries,” said Baze. “We kind of figured out a couple of things with him a couple of races ago and he was real primed to run a huge race today. I won on him before in New Mexico and I had the chance to get back on him this year. He’s done nothing but try hard and just been a great horse for Val.”
Owned by Val Brinkerhoff’s wife Kelly and Bob Grayson, Jr., Restrainedvengence, who is out of the Red Ransom mare Cupids Revenge, now has a total of 7 stakes wins and an overall mark of 31-9-4-3. With the winner’s share of $60,000, he increased his earnings to $768,182.
Idle since September 7 and in his first start for Peter Miller, Neptune’s Storm appeared to have a perfect trip but couldn’t go with the winner late. Off at 4/5, he paid $2.60 and $2.20 while finishing a 1/2-length in front of an on-rushing Tiz Plus.
Ridden by Trevor McCarthy and a first-time gelding, Tiz Plus was off at 17/1 and rallied well for third money as he returned $3.20 to show.
Fractions on the American were :22.91, :45.88, 1:09.34, and 1:21.64.
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