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ARCADIA, CA – Next to last midway around the far turn, veteran 8-year-old gelding Brandothebartender rallied four-deep turning for home en route to a solid 3/4-length win in Saturday’s $100,000 Crystal Water Stakes at Santa Anita.
Trained by Craig Dollase and ridden by Umberto Rispoli, “Brando” got 1 mile on turf in 1:35.04.
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With Acclimate and Flavien Prat dictating the early pace, Brandothebartender, who rated kindly under Rispoli, had about 3 lengths to make up a 1/4-mile from home and proved more than equal to the challenge.
“He ran great and we thought he would,” said Dollase, who claimed the son of Tribal Rule for his owners 26 races ago, on August 1, 2018 at Del Mar. “Umberto rode him perfect and instead of being bottled up, he was free-running. He’s just a racehorse. He knows where the wire is and it’s nice to take advantage of the great Cal-bred program we have out here.”
A winner going 6 furlongs on turf of the Cal-bred Sensational Star Stakes here on March 21, Brandothebartender, who had been winless in the past 2 runnings of the Crystal Water, was off at 5/1 among a field of five California-bred or sired older horses and paid $12.00, $3.80 and $2.10.
“As I said last time, he’s versatile,” said Rispoli, who was aboard for the fifth consecutive time today. “You can put him on the street, he can run on the street. I don’t think he’s afraid about anything and he proves that with the years… You can put him wherever you want… He knows what he’s doing.”
Owned by Flawless Racing, Brian Flanagan and Michael Jarvis, Brandothebartender notched his third win from 8 tries at 1 mile on turf and in his 43rd career start, got his third lifetime stakes win. With the winner’s share of $60,000, he increased his earnings to $668,364 and improved his overall race record to 43-8-6-15.
North County Guy, who sat third to the top of the lane behind Acclimate and Desmond Doss, finished 1 length in front of Acclimate. Ridden by Mario Gutierrez, North County Guy was off at even money and paid $2.60 and $2.10.
Ridden by Flavien Prat, Acclimate lacked the necessary kick and finished third, a nose better than Desmond Doss. Off at 9/5, Acclimate paid $2.10 to show.
Fractions on the race were 23.60, 47.58, 1:11.39 and 1:23.19.
Named for the California-bred winner of the both the 1977 Santa Anita Handicap and Hollywood Gold Cup, the Crystal Water is part of the lucrative Golden State Series. Sponsored by the CTBA, the Golden State Series is for eligible California-bred or sired horses.
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