By Mike Willman —-
BETTYS BAMBINO, COMEBACKING AMBITIOUS BREW & RICHARD’S BOY HEAD SATURDAY’S $100,000 SENSATIONAL STAR STAKES AT 6 ½ FURLONGS DOWN HILLSIDE TURF
RACE IS PART OF LUCRATIVE GOLDEN STATE SERIES FOR CALIFORNIA-BRED OR SIRED HORSES
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 22, 2017)—Trainer Peter Eurton’s recent graded winner Bettys Bambino will take on Marty Jones’ comebacking Ambitious Brew as this pair heads a field of five older horses bred or sired in California in Saturday’s $100,000 Sensational Star Stakes, to be contested at 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course. The one-two finishers in the 2015 Sensational Star, these 7-year-old geldings have accounted for 11 wins over the course throughout their highly successful careers.
Second in this race a year ago, trainer Peter Miller’s speedy Richard’s Boy comes off a stakes win versus state-breds on dirt and should be very tough transitioning back to a course he’s enjoyed considerable success over.
BETTYS BAMBINO: Rallying from off the pace, he was a convincing 2 ¼ length winner of the Grade III San Simeon Stakes over the course on opening day, Dec. 26, which was his first start since taking the Sensational Star in February, 2015. A winner of the Grade III Daytona Stakes two starts back on Dec. 28, 2014, this Unusual Heat gelding will be bidding for his sixth consecutive win over the course in a run that began on Sept. 27, 2014. Bred in California by his owners, Sharon Alesia, Bran Jam Stable and Joseph Ciaglia, Bettys Bambino is 11-7-0-3 overall with earnings of $378,036.
AMBITIOUS BREW: Idle since well beaten in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint here on Nov. 5, this Pamela Ziebarth homebred son of Tizbud was an impressive 1 ¾ length winner down the hill of the Grade III Eddie D. Stakes two starts back on Sept. 30 and should be plenty tough off the bench for Jones in what will be his 11th career start down the hillside. With Mike Smith back at the controls, Ambitious Brew should be attentive to the pace as he bids for his eighth career win. With earnings of $499,225, he has an overall mark of 21-7-7-0.
RICHARD’S BOY: Head and head for the lead early, he comes off a game nose victory on the main track in the California Cup Sprint going six furlongs here on Jan. 28 and was a close third from off the pace behind Bettys Bambino in the Grade III San Simeon down the hill two starts back on Dec. 26. Second, beaten a head in last year’s Sensational Star, this 5-year-old Idiot Proof gelding has been no worse than third in his last seven starts and can be counted upon to force the issue on Saturday under Victor Espinoza. Trained by Peter Miller and owned by Gary Hartunian’s Rockingham Ranch, Richard’s Boy is 7-2-2-1 over the course and he has an overall mark of 19-8-5-2, with earnings of $536,080.
THE SENSATIONAL STAR STAKES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 3 of 9 Approximate post time 1:30 p.m. PT
1. Bettys Bambino—Corey Nakatani—124
2. Richard’s Boy—Victor Espinoza—124
3. Acceptance—Stewart Elliott—124
4. Ambitious Brew—Mike Smith—124
5. Forest Chatter—Flavien Prat–120
First post time for a nine-race card Saturday is at 12:30 p.m., with admission gates opening at 10:30 a.m. For scratches, changes and complete morning line information, please visit santaanita.com.