Papacoolpapacool wins Pasadena Stakes on turf at Santa Anita
ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) Ashleyluvssugar upset 3-5 favorite Finnegans Wake to win the $200,000 San Luis Rey Stakes by 2 1/4 lengths Saturday at Santa Anita.
Ridden by Hall of Famer Gary Stevens, Ashleyluvssugar ran 1 1/2 miles on the turf in 2:25.78 and paid $13.20, $4.80 and $3 at 5-1 odds.
Finnegans Wake returned $2.40 and $2.10, while Power Foot was another 1 1/4 lengths back in third and paid $2.80 to show.
Ashleyluvssugar was fifth into the clubhouse turn, then raced as a team with Finnegans Wake three-wide around the far turn before Stevens went to a left-handed whip at the furlong pole. That's when Ashleyluvssugar found another gear and sprinted clear to win his first graded stakes.
''He relaxed like a dream for me,'' Stevens said. ''I knew if he would relax, we'd have a good chance. I was loaded going into the far turn, a horse came up to our outside, he got headed but he's tough, he likes a fight.''
The victory, worth $120,000, increased Ashleyluvssugar's career earnings to $335,504, with five wins in 10 starts.
Finnegans Wake was seeking his fourth straight graded stakes win on turf.
''He was a little bit flat today, all the way, as soon as he came out of the gate,'' jockey Victor Espinoza said.
Papacoolpapacool overhauled pacesetter Anytime Anyplace and Soul Driver to win the $75,000 Pasadena Stakes for 3-year-olds by 1 1/2 lengths.
Ridden by Elvis Trujillo, Papacoolpapacool ran one mile on the turf in 1:36.55 and paid $12.40, $7 and $5 at 5-1 odds in the field of nine.
Anytime Anyplace returned $11 and $7, while Soul Driver was another 1 1/4 lengths back in third and paid $3.40 to show.
''It was a perfect trip,'' Trujillo said. ''At the three-eighths pole, I saw that Soul Driver was moving too early so I waited a little bit. Once we moved out, my horse was gone.''
The victory, worth $47,700, increased Papacoolpapacool's career earnings to $145,350, with three wins in seven starts. It was his second straight win on the track's turf course.