|Santana Springs, Victory Lap Record
Easy Stakes Wins at Lone Star Park
(July 2, 2005)
- Favorites Santana Springs and Victory Lap won stakes races with
ease on Saturday at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas. Santana
Springs, a 3-year-old colt trained by Steve Asmussen, won the $97,000
Alysheba Breeders' Cup Stakes by two lengths over War Bridle. Two
races later, the filly Victory Lap recorded the most decisive victory
of the meeting with a 14 ¼-length score in the $100,000 Lone
Star Oaks for her fifth win in a row.
Santana Springs, ridden by Roman Chapa, broke well, dueled for
the lead and kicked clear late to stop the teletimer in stakes record
time - 1:08.52 for six furlongs. He paid $3.60 to win. It was the
first career stakes win for the Florida-bred son of Wheaton. Previously,
he finished sixth in the one-mile Derby Trial at Churchill Downs.
"He's a very nice sprinter," said Asmussen, who tallied
his fifth stakes win of the meet and third career Alysheba Breeders'
Cup. "The mile was definitely too far for him, and he faced
a horse like Lost in the Fog earlier this winter. The experience
he had over the winter definitely put a bottom in him. He put in
some sharp drills for this race and it worked out well."
The $60,000 winner's share of the purse pushed Santana Spring's
earnings to $205,840 for owner Millennium Farms, the nom de course
for Ro Parra of Austin, Texas.
Runner-up War Bridle was 3 ¼ lengths clear of third place
finisher Logan's Draw.
Meanwhile, Victory Lap, a recent private purchase by John Pucek
of Kentucky, easily handled her seven rivals in the Oaks, thanks
to an eye-catching, five-wide move on the final turn. The 3-year-old
Touch Gold filly completed 1 1/16 miles on turf in 1:44.62. Mybrowneyedgal
was second, three-quarters of a length in front of Prospectors Spirit.
"The last four times, she's gotten into trouble and I just
wanted to get her a good clean trip," said Victory Lap's jockey
Jaime Theriot. "At the half-mile pole, I swung her out a little
bit and let her do her thing. When I called on her at the quarter
pole, she took off. I didn't expect that...but I sure had a lot
of horse underneath me."
"I think she's going to go onto bigger and better things,"
said trainer Cole Norman, who collected his fourth stakes win of
the meet. "We showed today that she's got the talent...I expected
to get the job done today, but not like this. That was impressive...I'm
sure there'll be graded races and more money with her down the road."
The Lone Star Oaks was Victory Lap's fifth win in 12 starts and
second stakes victory in a row. The $60,000 winner's share of the
purse boosted her bankroll to $150,957.