JC / Railbird

Fast Times at Santa Anita

– How impressive was Indian Blessing winning the Santa Ynez? Pressured early and late, the likely champion juvenile filly ran the first quarter in a speedy :22.27 and the next in an even faster :21.49 before slowing to :23.38 in the third. Final time for the seven furlong race was a track record 1:19.89. Golden Doc A closed fast for second.
– Indian Blessing wasn’t the only horse posting freakish fractions at Santa Anita over the weekend. Post-deluge, the rocky-but-dry Cushion Track played absurdly fast: On Saturday, El Gato Malo took advantage of a pace duel that developed between Massive Drama and Talk of a Cat, who ran the first quarter in :22.25 and the second in :22.09, to win the one mile San Rafael in record time of 1:33.37, while ex-claimer Zappa set a new mark of 1:39.58 for 1 1/16 miles later in the afternoon winning the San Pasqual Handicap. Given the wacky surface, perhaps all the new records should be marked with an asterisk …
– The 2-3-4 finishers from the Demoiselle Stakes hardly flattered winner Mushka with their performances this weekend. Elusive Lady finished last at 6-1 while Melissa Jo ran a flat second to Game Face in the Old Hat Stakes at Gulfstream on Saturday. In the Busanda Stakes at Aqueduct today, favored Sunday Elegance set the early pace then faded to finish fifth, nearly seven lengths behind winner Paint Me Red. Key race alert: Game Face was the impressive winner of the 4th at Aqueduct on November 23, a maiden special that has now produced three next out winners.
– The great Maryland racemare Silmaril ended her career in style on Saturday: “She isn’t even blowing. She’s a damn racehorse” (WashPost).