Ridden by Antonio Castanon, 6-1 shot Frumious bolted to the lead and was never approached while streaking to a 5 ¾-length victory in 1:07.28 over a lightening fast track that had been sealed prior a morning rain storm that had passed through by afternoon.
Trained by Jeff Bonde for George and Mary Clare Schmitt, the California-bred son of Grindstone gained his third straight win, but neither of the two previous amounted to much compared to the 60th running of the Palos Verdes.
Frumious, who earned $90,000 on Saturday, could have been claimed for $40,000 two races back. He had never hit the board in three previous stakes tries including one at the Sacramento fair meet in 2009.
“You could see that the speed of the races was fast today,” said the 48-year-old Castanon. “This race was going to be one of the fastest races today, so I just let my horse run his own race because I know he has a lot of speed. I didn’t expect to be on the lead so soon. When I ended up there, I just let my horse run.”
And run is indeed what the bay gelding did. He whizzed through fractions of 21.06, 42.77 and 54.53. Castanon, who currently rides sparingly at Santa Anita, achieved his second stakes win at the track. His previous victory had been recorded in 1992 in the Grade II Providencia Stakes for trainer Gary Jones aboard Saron Stable’s Miss Turkana.
Frumious paid $14.60, $7.20 and $4. Galientos, ridden by Corey Nakatani, returned $9 and $3.60. The show price on Mensa Heat, with Rafael Bejarano aboard, was $3. The winning purse lifted the career earnings of Frumious to $259,192 from a 6-0-4 record in 15 starts.
Eclipse Award winner Amazombie, who was declared earlier in the day, is expected to return in either the $100,000 Sensational Star Stakes next Saturday or the Grade II, $200,000 San Carlos Stakes on Feb. 25.
With Joe Talamo in the saddle, Chilean-bred Vamo a Galupiar stormed home along the rail to run away with an earlier stakes contest on Saturday, the $78,500 Megahertz for fillies and mares at one mile on turf.
After Brazilian-bred Equitana, who had led down the backstretch by nearly 10 lengths, came back to the field entering the stretch, Vamo a Galupiar powered home from last to win by 3 ¼ lengths in 1:34.95.
Celestial Kitten, ridden by Bejarano, got up for second, a nose in front of third-place Pick and Pray and jockey Edwin Maldonado in the field of seven. Wild Mia, the 13-10 favorite, ran fourth.
“That’s a nice mare,” Talamo said of the winner. “She’s got a tremendous turn of foot. We just stayed on the rail all the way. Everything opened up. When she switched leads, she just exploded.”
The victorious chestnut mare, trained by Hall of Famer Neil Drysdale, was making her first start since April and only her second in the U.S. She had been a Group I winner in her native country while victorious in 3 of 4 starts. Vamo A Galupiar went to the sidelines after finishing seventh in Hollywood Park’s Grade II Wilshire Handicap.
“She bruised something behind,” explained Drysdale. “It wasn’t any big deal. She just needed time. She got tired, and she wasn’t quite right,” Reflecting on her flashy score in the Megahertz, the English-born trainer commented, “It looks like she’s ready to go now.”
Vamo a Galupiar paid $25.21, $12.40 and $7.20. The mutuels on Celestial Kitten were $6.60 and $4.20. Pick and Pray paid $5.20 to show. Winning owner Robert S. Evans was rewarded with $47,100, which increased the career earnings of Vamo a Galupiar to $100,512.
It was the first stakes victory of the meet for Talamo, who had gotten off to an uncharacteristically slow start. “I don’t have to worry about that,” the 22-year-old Talamo said in response to a question about his slump. “Everybody else does that for me.”
Talamo tripled on the day while Joel Rosario moved into the lead in the young meet’s jockeys’ standings with a four-bagger to lift his total to 20 victories.
The 38th running of the Grade II, $150,000 La Canada Stakes for 4-year-old fillies heads Sunday’s nine-race program at Santa Anita that also features the $75,000 San Pedro Stakes for 3-year-olds. First post is at 12:30 p.m.