CYPRESS, CA – Far and away the favorite at post time, it wasn’t until Kaleem Shah’s Run Away stole victory in the final jumps that he looked like the best horse in Saturday’s $100,000 Barretts Juvenile Stakes at Los Alamitos Race Course.
“He was in a real tough spot early in between horses, and it just showed he’s got a big heart to come and run them down,” said winning trainer Simon Callaghan. “We’ll just give him a bit of freshening now and then figure out our next target with him.’’
Sent to post as the 1-5 favorite, Run Away settled off the pace under jockey Flavien Prat while Southern Warlord and Crazy Uncle Rick took turns leading through fractions of :22.04 and :44.96. Midway through the far turn, Run Away began to drop back through the field while racing between Smokem and Here Is Happy. Prat allowed the colt to back off of the crowd and, once clear, angled him out three wide. Exiting onto the front stretch in fifth but only 2 1/2 lengths off of the leaders, Run Away commenced a rally along the outside and dug in deep to nail Smokem by a head at the wire in a final time of 1:16.17 for the 6 1/2-furlong race.
“He didn’t have any speed today,” Prat said. “Around the turn, I was between horses, and he’s never been between horses before. He wasn’t comfortable, but luckily, there’s a long stretch. Once I put him in the clear, he started making his run.’’
Crazy Uncle Rick faded in the stretch and finished 4 lengths back in third. Southern Warlord, Here Is Happy, Thegloryisallmine, and Time for Cioppino completed the order of finish.
Purchased for $325,000 at the Barretts March sale earlier this year, the son of Run Away and Hide has now won four of five career starts with earnings of $304,400, including stakes victories in the $100,000 Santa Anita Juvenile on July 3 and the Grade 2 Best Pal at Del Mar on August 12. His lone loss was a third-place effort in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity on September 4.
“I told Simon this race scared me because I thought potentially he might bounce because he’s been running hard races,” Shah said. “Turning for home today, I was quite nervous. Luckily, he came running. (Prat) said the dirt (in his face) was bothering him, and once he got him outside, he took off. He’ll get a little bit of a well-deserved rest now.’’
Run Away returned $2.40 to win and $2.10 to place, while Smokem brought back to $2.80 to place. There was no show betting.