Joe Talamo sweeps pair of Grade 1 races at Santa Anita
Obviously won the $400,000 Shoemaker Mile for the second straight year and Iotapa scored an upset victory in the $300,000 Vanity Stakes, giving jockey Joe Talamo a sweep of the Grade 1 races as part of a four-win day at Santa Anita on Saturday.
Obviously using his front-running style to lead all the way and put away the field by 1 1/2 lengths as the 8-5 favorite. Talamo came right back in the next race to win the Vanity for fillies and mares by 10 1/4 lengths with 9-2 shot Iotapa. He had two more winners on the card.
Talamo’s take for the two stakes races totaled $78,000.
"I’ve won two grade ones on the same day before. It was seven, seven, seven (July 7, 2007) and I was 17 years old," he said. "It was a great day. I didn’t think it would take me eight more years to do it again."
Ireland-bred Obviously ran the distance on the turf in 1:32.66 and paid $5.40, $3.60 and $3.
"He obviously doesn’t like horses in front of him," joked co-owner Anthony Fanticola. "Obviously, likes to be in front."
Summer Front returned $6 and $3.60. The 5-year-old gelding is trained by Christophe Clement, whose horse Tonalist foiled the Triple Crown bid of California Chrome last weekend at Belmont Park.
There was a dead-heat for third between Tom’s Tribute and Silentio, who finished another half-length back. They each paid $3.
Obviously won last year’s Shoemaker by 3 1/4 lengths at now-shuttered Betfair Hollywood Park. The 6-year-old gelding returned from six months off to win the American Stakes over the same distance at Santa Anita last month.
This time, Obviously ran the opening quarter-mile in a sizzling 22.06 seconds, the half-mile in 44.50 and three-quarters in 1:08.03.
"We were rolling right along. He was going fast, but he was doing it fairly easily," Talamo said. "With him, you don’t have a choice. His thing is going to the front. If I would have taken him back, we wouldn’t have won. It’s amazing he could still accelerate after running as fast as he did."
It was the first Grade 1 win for trainer Phil D’Amato, who took over from the recently retired Mike Mitchell. D’Amato is aiming Obviously toward the Breeders’ Cup Mile this fall. He finished fifth in the race last year.
"Going 1:08 for him, most horses can’t do that, but just not having a horse right on top of him, I think he can do those fractions and keep going like he showed," D’Amato said.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, Jack Milton finished fifth, followed by Winning Prize and Pulpit’s Express.
In the 73rd edition of the Vanity, also run at Hollywood Park last year, Iotapa covered 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.64 — fastest winning time since 1997 — and paid $11.20, $5 and $3.20. The winning margin was the largest since 1976, according to Equibase.
"We had a perfect trip," Talamo said. "The fractions weren’t too fast for her so she was able to gain a breather at one point and it was amazing the way she kicked away like she did."
Grace Hall returned $3.80 and $2.80 for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, while Scherzinger paid $3.40 to show.
Let Faith Arise, the 8-5 favorite and a double stakes winner this year, was fourth, followed by Magic Union and Yahilwa.