ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 12, 2012)—Oligarch and jockey Alonso Quinonez got loose on the lead at odds of 24-1 and stole Santa Anita’s allowance feature on Friday, the $53,000 Watsonville Purse for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles on turf. A 4-year-old Florida-bred ridgling by Congrats, Oligarch, who last started on Sept. 8 at Calder Race Course in Florida, made his Southern California debut look easy, winning by 1 ¾ lengths for new trainer Kristin Mulhall while getting the distance in 1:46.42.
“I had never been on him before, but Kristin said he worked good the other day and to ride him with confidence,” said Quinonez. “Today was his first day at Santa Anita so when I was warming him up, I let him look around and relax. You can see on his form that he likes to run on the lead, so I let him do what he wanted to do. When that other horse (5-2 favorite Silentio) came to him in the stretch, he wasn’t going to get by us. My horse took hold of the bridle and kept going.”
Owned by Caroni Stable, Oligarch carved out fractions of 22.89, 46.72, 1:10.91 and 1:34.45. He paid $51.60, $21.40 and $12.60.
The winner’s share of $31,800 boosted Oligarch’s career bankroll to $145,096.
Although Silentio and Garrett Gomez drew to within a length of the eventual winner an eighth of a mile out, Causeithertz and David Flores came running from far off the pace to pick up place by three quarters of a length, returning $5.60 and $4.20. Silentio paid $3.60 to show.
Santa Anita presents the 23rd annual California Cup on Saturday, with a card of 10 races for horses bred in California. First post time is 1 p.m.