ESCAPE CLAUSE GETS AWAY
Canadian/Manitoba darling wins Grade 3 La Canada
with files from Santa Anita media:
The pride of Western Canada, Manitoba-bred Escape Clause, took full command midway around the far turn en route to a resounding 5 ½-length win and first graded score in Saturday’s Grade 3, $100,000 La Canada Stakes at Santa Anita. Owned and trained by Don Schnell and ridden by Tyler Baze, Escape Clause, who is believed to be the first Manitoba-bred stakes winner in Santa Anita history, got a mile and one sixteenth over a wet fast main track in 1:41.89.
She earned a career best 91 Beyer Speed Figure.
“I had a beautiful trip. I wasn’t sure really what the other two (horses) were gonna do…They (Stradella Road and True Royalty) went and I just sat there and when I said ‘Go,’ man…she took off with me. When she got the lead, she kind of pulled up a little bit…Down the stretch, she was just galloping…I was hollering ‘Come on mama, keep running!’ She’s amazing.”
A winner of nine consecutive starts, eight of them stakes, dating from June 8 at Assiniboia Downs in Winnipeg, Manitoba through a restricted stakes score going one mile on turf at Del Mar on Nov. 9, Escape Clause was most recently a troubled fourth here in the Grade 3 Robert J. Frankel Stakes on Dec. 29.
Off at even money in a field of six older fillies and mares, Escape Clause, who is by the Unbridled’s Song stallion Going Commando and out of the Circulating mare Danger Pay, paid $4.20, $2.80 and $2.40
“She was just built like a horse that was gonna grow up and hopefully be something,” said Schnell in reference to buying Escape Clause as a youngster. “I know we bought other ones that hadn’t panned out, but this was one that (did) and she’s a nice filly. I used to say anytime I got a good horse, I’d like to come to Santa Anita and win a race…And I’m glad I did now.”
In notching her 17th overall stakes win, Escape Clause improved her career mark to 28-19-3-3 and with the winner’s share of $60,000, increased her earnings to $423,500.
Escape Clause is the odds-on choice to be named Canada’s Champion Older Mare at the Sovereign Awards in April. Voting continues for the awards through Jan. 21 based on her exploits in 2018.
THREE CROSS PEDIGREE of ESCAPE CLAUSE $5,000 yearling purchase from breeders Barry Arnason and Cam Ziprick
___________Regal Miss Copelan
HEART TO HEART, 3rd in Tropical Turf
with files from Gulfstream media
A tough trip for even-money favourite, Ontario-bred Heart to Heart and a Hall of Fame trip under jockey Javier Castellano helped Doctor Mounty pull off a mild upset in Saturday’s $100,000 Tropical Turf (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
Heart to Heart, a multiple Grade 1 stakes-winner who was making his 2019 debut in the mile turf stakes for 4-year-olds and up, threw his head in the air at the start and was unable to fill the pacesetter’s role that has proven to a key to his success. Pushed four-wide on the first turn, the Brian Lynch-trained 8-year-old rated a few lengths off the pace under Julien Leparoux and made a sweeping move to the lead in the stretch, only to come up short approaching the wire to finish third.
“When he broke he threw his head up and hit me in the face. After that he relaxed good for me and ran a nice race. We were too wide [around the first turn],” Leparoux said.
Meanwhile, Shug McGaughey-trained Doctor Mounty, a graded-stakes winner who finished eighth in the 1 1/8-mile Fort Lauderdale (G2) Dec. 15, was the beneficiary of a stress-free trip Saturday, settling off the pace set by White Flag, who set fractions of 23.53 and 46.87 seconds for the first half-mile while pursued by Vici, Holiday Stone and Mr. Freeze. White Flag, the 3-1 second choice ridden by Jose Ortiz, showed the way into the stretch, but was no match for the outside drive by Heart to Heart, who had launched a sweeping move on the turn into the stretch. Just as it appeared that Heart to Heart may have overcome adversity, Doctor Mounty and Your My Man surged late. Doctor Mounty prevailed by a length over Your My Man, who nosed out Heart to Heart for second money.