The mild upset, spurred by 33-1 stunner Talktoomuch in the fifth race, led to Santa Anita’s tenth Pick Six carryover on the 21st day of its current meet. A total of $91,353 will be carried into Friday’s Pick Six on a day when the track offers free general admission.
Sent off as the 5-2 third-choice in a field of six, Blue Exit rallied from last under Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith to win going away despite racing five wide through the stretch. The winning time was 1:42.09.
Star Nicholas, ridden by Michael Baze, finished 1 ¾ lengths ahead of Rocket Legs and jockey Garrett Gomez for the place. Zappa, the 7-5 favorite, wound up fifth following a heated pace duel with Our Partner.
Blue Exit paid $7.60, $3.80 and $3.20. The mutuels on runner-up Star Nicholas were $3.40 and $2.60. Rocket Legs paid $3.40 to show.
Owned by a consortium listed as Blue Exit Partnership, Harlequin Ranches and James Hill, Blue Exit was awarded a winning purse of $36,000 that boosted his career total to $128,178 from a record of 4-1-1 in eight races.
“This horse just needed more time to acclimate,” said Hollendorfer, who utilized retired Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens in morning workouts with the blinkers added in an effort to get Blue Exit to run in a more relaxed manner.
Friday’s eight-race program gets underway at 1 p.m. with the Pick Six sequence beginning with the third race. In addition to free admission on Fridays this season, Santa Anita has been offering box seats on a first-come first-served basis along with a $1 concessions menu that includes hot dogs, beer, sodas and pop corn.