Friday, January 16, 2009


ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 15, 2009) – At 33-1 the longest shot in a field of nine fillies and mares, Mission Viejo Halo stormed from last on Thursday to capture Santa Anita’s $54,600 Monterey Bay Purse and ignite a two-day Pick Six carryover of $461,236 into Friday’s card.

Ridden by Martin Garcia, the 4-year-old filly owned and trained by Moon S. Han prevailed in a driving finish, defeating We Will Rock You by an expanding one-half length in the feature event at 6 ½ furlongs over the track’s downhill turf course. The final time was 1:12.87.

The carryover was the eighth in 16 racing dates at the current Santa Anita meeting and the second to reach two consecutive days. The Pick Six sequence on Friday, when the track offers free general admission, will begin with the third race on an eight-race program that commences at 1 p.m.

Carryover protagonist Mission Viejo Halo was overlooked in Thursday’s wagering even though she had placed in two stakes races on California’s fair circuit and both of her previous victories had been accomplished at generous odds – 16-1 and 10-1 -- in turf sprints at Hollywood Park

We Will Rock You, Thursday’s 3-1 third choice ridden by Garrett Gomez, had gained the lead inside the sixteenth pole before Mission Viejo Halo seemed to emerge out of nowhere on the extreme outside. She was last entering the stretch run. It was another head back to third-place finisher Expensive Art.

The winner paid $68.80, $27.80 and $11.80. We Will Rock You, an Eastern invader trained by Christophe Clement, returned $4.20 and $4. Expensive Art, with Brice Blanc aboard, paid $6.80 to show.

Heathersdaddysbaby, the 2-1 favorite, wound up a non-threatening seventh in her attempt to provide trainer Mike Mitchell with victories from five consecutive starters over two days. Mitchell had won the day’s opener after scoring with each of his three entrants on Wednesday.

The Monterey Bay Purse victory was worth $31,800 to Mission Viejo Halo, a $12,000 Keeneland sales purchase in 2005. The first-place money increased her career total to $114,060 from a 3-1-2 record in eight races overall.

Her victory appeared so stunning that the Pick Six carried for a second day despite bookend wins by favorites at odds of 2-1 in the third and 6-5 in the nightcap. Other winners in the Pick Six sequence were sent off at odds of 11-1, 7-2 and 7-1.

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