Kelly Brinkerhoff and Bob Grayson Jr.'s RESTRAINEDVENGENCE unleashed a furious rally to capture Sunday's $100K American Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita Park.
The Val Brinkerhoff trainee needed the greater length of the stretch to reel in 4-5 favorite NEPTUNE'S STORM.
"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.
"He likes him and he's come to know him. To win a graded stakes at Santa Anita for me, is just the best thing that ever happened for a long time."
RESTRAINEDVENGENCE broke beautifully out of the gate for jockey Tyler Baze, but smartly tracked from third, five lengths behind 17-1 pacesetter SASH, who winged through opening quarters of 22.91 and 45.88.
Rounding the turn for home, NEPTUNE'S STORM got the jump on the pacesetter and seized the lead. But Tyler Baze had plenty of horse underneath him; he swung RESTRAINEDVENGENCE three-wide and into the clear, and with a strong late kick, got up in deep stretch to overtake NEPTUNE'S STORM, and win decidedly by half a length.
Brinkerhoff continued: "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 wants to do what he wants to do and he loves to run."
NEPTUNE'S STORM had to settle for second, TIZ PLUS split horses to get up for third. The final time for the one mile on turf was 1:33.87.
RESTRAINEDVENGENCE paid $8.80 to win, $3.60 to place, and $2.60 to show. He is by HOLD ME BACK out of CUPIDS REVENGE by RED RANDSOM. He's officially a graded stakes winner, with career earnings now exceeding $768,000.
"He always tries," said Tyler 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."
Source: Equibase, Mike Willman, Santa Anita, Paulick Report