If you weren't tuned in to The Great Race Place this weekend, don't worry we've got you covered. We had three stakes races, two of which were graded. The highlight event was the Beholder Mile, which marked the return of Preakness Stakes (G1) winner SWISS SKYDIVER — and wow did she return! We also had the San Simeon, a six furlong dash over the Santa Anita lawn. Both of these races were on Saturday, but on Sunday we continued with the Irish O'Brien, another six furlong turf sprint, this time for fillies and mares. Let's get to recapping.
The $300K Beholder Mile Stakes (G1) was won by SWISS SKYDIVER, ridden by Robby Albarado, trained by Kenneth McPeek, owned by Peter J. Callahan — with a lightning turn-of-foot. She ran her comeback-race like she never left!
SWISS SKYDIVER broke evenly but was positioned on the rail for a tracking-trip behind GOLDEN PRINCIPAL, who gunned for the lead early and set opening fractions of 23.14 and 46.80. SWISS SKYDIVER then inches closer to the lead but finds herself momentarily boxed in, with HARVEST MOON and MISS STORMY D to her outside. Turning for home, jockey Robby Albarado finds a gap and switches her to the outside, into the clear, and asks for run — and she accelerates instantly. She kicks away to win by three lengths, ears pricked at the end, enjoying herself out there. A late run from AS TIME GOES BY was enough to secure second place, GOLDEN PRINCIPAL held on for third. The final time for the one mile run was 1:36.18.
SWISS SKYDIVER paid $4.80 to win, $2.60 to place, and $2.20 to show. She is by DAREDEVIL out of EXPO GOLD, by JOHANNESBURG. She secures her 7th career victory with earnings pushed to $2,025,480. This was her third Grade 1 victory. She ran just a point shy of her highest speed figure, which is quite impressive since it was only her comeback race.
The $100K San Simeon Stakes (G3) was won by GREGORIAN CHANT, ridden by Juan Hernandez, trained by Philip D'Amato, owned by Old Bones Racing Stable LLC, Slam Dunk Racing and Michael Nentwig — motoring home, repelling the challenge of SOMBEYAY in the final strides!
GREGORIAN CHANT broke alertly but was positioned at the rear of the field, four lengths off the lead. The group ran through opening fractions of 22.72 and 45.52. GREGORIAN CHANT begins his move with three furlongs to go and circles 4-wide as they straighten away. SOMBEYAY is up for the challenge and matches stride; the both of them race to the wire together. But it is GREGORIAN CHANT who is finishing the strongest for Juan Hernandez, who merely shows him the stick to get the job done. SOMBEYAY ran well in defeat but settled for second. JOLIE OLIMPICA fought on to keep third. The final time for the six furlongs dash over the turf was 1:08.79.
GREGORIAN CHANT paid $9.80 to win, $4.20 to place, and $2.20 to show. He is by GREGORIAN out of TABRINA by FASLIYEV. He's now won two in a row, pushing his earrings to $225,013. This was his first graded stakes victory and he's becoming quite the sprinter after racing originally at longer distances.
The $100K Irish O'Brien Stakes was won by LEGGS GALORE, ridden by Ricardo Gonzalez, trained by Philip D'Amato, owned by Williams Sims — in a commanding gate-to-wire score.
LEGGS GALORE broke like a rocket and opened up by four lengths to set the pace of 21.94 for the first quarter, 44.37 for the second. She showed no signs of stopping as they rounded the turn for home. Jockey Ricardo Gonzalez asks her to accelerate in the stretch and she does so, maintaining a three-length advantage over BELLA VITA who raced up the rail but could do no better than second. SADIE BLUEGRASS settled for the third. The final time for the six furlong sprint was 1:08.17.
LEGGS GALORE paid $4.60 to win, $2.60 to place, and $2.20 to show. She is by BAYERN out of CASHING TICKETS by INDIAN CHARLIE. She earned her fifth consecutive victory, pushed her earnings to $262,208, and earned her highest speed figure in the effort.