Masochistic wins Kona Gold; Home Journey wins Las Cinegas
ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) Masochistic won the $200,000 Kona Gold Stakes for older horses by three-quarters of a length in his first start for trainer Ron Ellis on Saturday at Santa Anita.
Ridden by Tyler Baze, Kona Gold ran 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:14.69 and paid $3.80, $2.60 and $2.20 as the 4-5 favorite.
San Onofre returned $3.40 and $2.60, while Sahara Sky was another neck back in third and paid $2.20 to show in his first start since finishing sixth in the Triple Bend Stakes on Jan. 28.
Baze took over on Masochistic from regular rider Victor Espinoza, who was in Arkansas to ride American Pharoah to victory in the $1 million Arkansas Derby.
''This was just basically, don't change anything that ain't broken,'' Baze said. ''I talked to Victor yesterday before he left and he said to just get him out of the gate and keep him going.''
The victory, worth $120,000, increased Masochistic's career earnings to $343,850, with five wins in seven starts.
''I thought he ran awesome,'' Ellis said. ''I was really glad to see he could win a dogfight, because all his wins have been pretty easy. He hooked up with a very tough horse around the turn, so I'm glad he responded the way he did.''
In the $100,000 Las Cinegas Stakes, Home Journey won by a length as the 3-1 second choice in a field of eight older fillies and mares.
Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Home Journey ran 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course in 1:13.09 and paid $8.40, $3.60 and $3.40.
Go West Marie rallied from sixth early to finish second and returned $3 and $2.40. Blingismything was another 2 3/4 lengths back in third and paid $4 to show.
Home Journey is co-owned by her breeders, Mark and Daryle Ann Giardino, who father was actor Slim Pickens. The couple earned their first graded stakes win.
''My dad and mom loved racehorses,'' she said. ''This is wonderful. We've been doing this for over 25 years.''
The victory, worth $60,000, increased Home Journey's career earnings to $279,920, with five wins in 12 starts.