Trained by Eoin Harty, Anthony’s Cross, an Indian Charlie colt out of an Unbridled mare, turned the tables on Tapizar who previously beat him by 9 ¼ lengths in last month’s Sham Stakes, when Anthony’s Cross won the $250,000 Grade II Robert B. Lewis Stakes this past Saturday at Santa Anita racetrack. The heavy favorite, going off at 1-5, Tapizar broke for the lead right out of the gate and fought his jockey, Garret Gomez, until Gomez let him have the lead. Ridden by Joel Rosario, Anthony’s Cross sat behind Tapizar in second place along with Riveting Reason and Quail Hill. Tapizar remained in the lead through most of the race, but continued to throw his head back and fight Gomez’s guidance almost every step of the way. With only an eighth of a mile to go, Anthony’s Cross and Riveting Reason began to battle for the lead, quickly overpowering Tapizar. The two continued to vie for the lead down the stretch as they left the others behind and finished only noses apart. Quail Hill was another 4 ¼ lengths behind in third with Thirtyfirststreet in fourth. Tapizar finished a disappointing fifth. Anthony's Cross paid $18.60 to win, $8.00 to place, and $15.60 to show.
As we look to the Derby, key things to take away from this race are 1) Tapizar just had a bad race and we should disregard his poor performance here or, because he gave up at the mile mark, he’s not suited for the Derby’s distance; 2) Riveting Reason may be worth another look and may have matured to a better race horse than his 8th place finish behind winner Uncle Mo in the Grade 1 Breeder’s Cup Juvenile back in November; and 3) with the addition of blinkers, Anthony’s Cross stayed focused and showed that he wouldn’t back down when challenged at the stretch. He was also able to pull off the close win without his jockey using the whip.
Results of the other weekend prep races: favored Brethren remains undefeated in his Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes win. Comma To The Top finishes fourth behind Silver Medallion in the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby. We’ll take a look at the next race on the Derby prep schedule later in the week when we focus on Saturday’s $300,000 Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes.
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