Blocked behind rivals in midstretch, Garrett Gomez, riding the 6-year-old California-bred for the first time, observed pace-setter Victory Pete move inward and pushed the proverbial button. “When I saw the No. 4 go to his left,” said Gomez, “my horse put his head down and got the job done. I never even hit him.” Mobilized crossed the wire in 1:12.55.
Supreme Summit, with David Flores in the saddle, rallied for the place, a head in front of jockey Martin Garcia and 9-5 favorite Victory Pete, who had taken the field of seven through early fractions of 22:12 and 44.16.
In gaining his first victory in seven starts, which spanned nine months on the sidelines, Mobilized paid $17.40, $7.40 and $4.20. The prices on Supreme Summit were $5.40 and $3.20. Victory Pete returned $3.20 to show.
Gary Mandella, who trains Mobilized for Double JH Stables and the Estate of breeder Robert E. Reseigne, explained the nine-month absence. “He chipped a knee in the (Grade III) Berkeley (May 30 at Golden Gate),” said Mandella. “We took it out, brought him back and unfortunately we ran into Mr. Gruff, which was a little too much to expect from him.” Mobilized finished sixth, 3 ½ lengths behind Mr. Gruff in his March 4 comeback, the Joe Hernandez Stakes, but the effort clearly set him up well for Friday’s Charleston Purse.
The winning purse of $49,140 lifted the career earnings of Mobilized to $288,830 from a 5-1-6 record in 21 starts. It was the son of Soul of the Matter’s first victory on turf in his ninth start over the surface.
Trainer Bob Baffert’s Eden’s Moon is the odds-on favorite to take Saturday’s 73rd running of the Grade I, $300,000 Santa Anita Oaks for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles. The Oaks will be contested as the fourth race on a program of 10 races that includes an inaugural pair of $200,000 stakes for California-bred 3-year-olds at 6 ½ furlongs: the Echo Eddie for colts and geldings and the Evening Jewel for fillies. First post is at 12:30 p.m.