Formerly run as the Morvich Stakes, the Eddie D was named in honor of retired Hall of Fame jockey Eddie Delahoussaye, who won his 6,000 career race at Santa Anita and who was on-hand to present the trophy.
Ridden by Corey Nakatani, Unbridled’s Note broke from the outside post position and stalked the pace early. As the frontrunners crossed the dirt turning for home, Nakatani wheeled wide and the 3-year-old colt by Unbridled’s Song launched a powerful rally under left handed urging and won in-hand.
“It’s an honor to win this race,” said Nakatani. “Eddie was one of the guys I idolized when I first started. This horse is just good enough to put me in the position I needed to be in to win. The key is if they handle it (downhill turf), and he handled it just fine. It’s Eddie D.’s day though. He’s a great asset to the sport.”
Assistant trainer Scott Blasi deputized for Asmussen and was looking forward to the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, on Nov. 2 at Santa Anita, following the Eddie D.
“This puts us in a position to make the Breeders’ Cup with him,” said Blasi. “I just told Corey to put him in a good spot and see if he liked it or not…This is his first time on the grass. It was a pretty dominating performance, I thought, and usually when you run them back the second time, hopefully they run better…”
Owned by Mike McCarty, Unbridled’s Note, the 3-1 post time favorite, paid $8.00, $5.60 and $3.80. With the winner’s share of $60,000, Unbridled’s Note boosted his career earnings to $195,741 from a 7-3-0-2 record.
Chosen Miracle carved out fractions of 22.30, 44.28 and 1:06.48 over a firm turf and gave way grudgingly late under Alonso Quinonez, finishing a neck ahead of Mensa Heat and Juan Hernandez for the place.
Chosen Miracle paid $11.60 to place and $7.80 to show. Mensa Heat returned $10.00.
Comma to the Top and jockey Martin Pedroza ended up fourth, beaten 2 ½ lengths at odds of 7-2.
For his part, Delahoussaye expressed appreciation following the race named for him.
“It’s a great honor, especially because I’m living to see it. Most of the time, they give these awards and the people are deceased…So at least I know I won it—thank God!”
The on-track crowd of 5,775 represented a slight percent increase over last year’s opener, which attracted 5,739.
With the exception of the Eddie D, not a single post time favorite won on Friday, resulting in a Pick Six carryover into Saturday of $55,260.
Santa Anita’s all stakes Pick Six will cover races six through 11, which will include five Grade I Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” stakes.
First post time is at 1 p.m.