Comma to the Top became racing’s newest millionaire with a 1-3/4-length victory in the $100,000 Daytona Stakes at Santa Anita on Saturday.
The victory, worth $60,000, increased Comma to the Top’s career earnings to $1,027,696, with 11 wins in 25 starts.
With replacement rider Edwin Maldonado in the saddle, Comma to the Top ran 6-1/2 furlongs on a wet-fast dirt track in 1 minute, 14.55 seconds and returned $5.20 on a $2 win bet.
Clubhouse Ride was second, and Ain’t No Other was another three-quarters of a length back in third. Capital Account, the 8-5 favorite, finished fourth.
The race was moved off the downhill turf course because of rain.
Maldonado replaced Corey Nakatani, who was forced to take off his remaining mounts after a spill in the fourth race, and earned his third win on the card.
”Words can’t describe a horse like this,” winning trainer Peter Miller said. ”He’s just an iron horse. He’s a $22,000 gelding, and you wish you had a barn full of them. He makes training easy. He tries every time. He just wants to please you.”
In the $75,000 Eddie Logan Stakes for 2-year-olds, Avare led all the way to win by 4-1/4 lengths for co-owner Rick Pitino, the University of Louisville basketball coach.
The race, named for the track’s late shoeshine attendant, saw five of 10 horses scratched after it was moved from the turf to the dirt.
Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Avare ran one mile in 1:36.39 and paid $7.60. The victory, worth $46,500, increased Avare’s career earnings to $78,900, with two wins in four starts.
Gabriel Charles was second. Will True Up was another 4-1/2 lengths back in third.
In the $75,000 Kalookan Queen Stakes for fillies and mares, Teddy’s Promise won by 5-1/4 lengths under Victor Espinoza. She paid $5 as the 3-2 favorite.
Teddy’s Promise ran 6-1/2 furlongs in 1:14.72. The victory, worth $60,300, increased her career earnings to $484,981, with seven wins in 20 starts.
Snow Fall finished second, and Great Hot was another 2-3/4 lengths back in third.