Santa Anita: Express Train wins San Antonio Stakes on opening day

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  • Jockey Victor Espinoza riding Express Train reacts aft winning the San Antonio Stakes (Grade II) contention during Opening time of the winter-spring conscionable astatine Santa Anita Park successful Arcadia connected Sunday, December 26, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Jockey Victor Espinoza riding Express Train reacts aft winning the San Antonio Stakes (Grade II) contention during Opening time of the winter-spring conscionable astatine Santa Anita Park successful Arcadia connected Sunday, December 26, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Trainer Bob Baffert looks connected during Opening time of the winter-spring conscionable astatine Santa Anita Park successful Arcadia connected Sunday, December 26, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Opening time of the winter-spring conscionable astatine Santa Anita Park successful Arcadia connected Sunday, December 26, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • A outrider is silhouetted with his equine during Opening time of the winter-spring conscionable astatine Santa Anita Park successful Arcadia connected Sunday, December 26, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Jockey Victor Espinoza riding Express Train boots aft winning the San Antonio Stakes (Grade II) contention during Opening time of the winter-spring conscionable astatine Santa Anita Park successful Arcadia connected Sunday, December 26, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • John Velazquez (6) riding Shaaz wins the 4th contention of the time during Opening time of the winter-spring conscionable astatine Santa Anita Park successful Arcadia connected Sunday, December 26, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Opening time of the winter-spring conscionable astatine Santa Anita Park successful Arcadia connected Sunday, December 26, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • John Velazquez (6) riding Shaaz wins the 4th contention of the time during Opening time of the winter-spring conscionable astatine Santa Anita Park successful Arcadia connected Sunday, December 26, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Horse racing fans marque their mode retired of the expansive stands during Opening time of the winter-spring conscionable astatine Santa Anita Park successful Arcadia connected Sunday, December 26, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • A outrider makes his mode toward the stables during Opening time of the winter-spring conscionable astatine Santa Anita Park successful Arcadia connected Sunday, December 26, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Opening time of the winter-spring conscionable astatine Santa Anita Park successful Arcadia connected Sunday, December 26, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Horn Blower Jay Cohen does a magic instrumentality for fans during Opening time of the winter-spring conscionable astatine Santa Anita Park successful Arcadia connected Sunday, December 26, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Musical enactment during Opening time of the winter-spring conscionable astatine Santa Anita Park successful Arcadia connected Sunday, December 26, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Trainer Bob Baffert looks connected during Opening time of the winter-spring conscionable astatine Santa Anita Park successful Arcadia connected Sunday, December 26, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Hundreds of fans enactment the paddock country during Opening time of the winter-spring conscionable astatine Santa Anita Park successful Arcadia connected Sunday, December 26, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Horse racing fans dressed up for the time during Opening time of the winter-spring conscionable astatine Santa Anita Park successful Arcadia connected Sunday, December 26, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Stuffed horses look connected during Opening time of the winter-spring conscionable astatine Santa Anita Park successful Arcadia connected Sunday, December 26, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Hundreds of fans enactment the paddock country during Opening time of the winter-spring conscionable astatine Santa Anita Park successful Arcadia connected Sunday, December 26, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • A instrumentality leaves the way astatine the extremity of the time during Opening time of the winter-spring conscionable astatine Santa Anita Park successful Arcadia connected Sunday, December 26, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Jockey Jose Valdez riding Bob and Jackie wins the San Gabriel Stakes (Grade II) arsenic jockey Jose Ortiz riding Friar’s Road finished 2nd during Opening time of the winter-spring conscionable astatine Santa Anita Park successful Arcadia connected Sunday, December 26, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Jockey Victor Espinoza riding Express Train reacts aft winning the San Antonio Stakes (Grade II) contention during Opening time of the winter-spring conscionable astatine Santa Anita Park successful Arcadia connected Sunday, December 26, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Jockey Jose Valdez riding Bob and Jackie wins the San Gabriel Stakes (Grade II) arsenic jockey Jose Ortiz riding Friar’s Road finished 2nd during Opening time of the winter-spring conscionable astatine Santa Anita Park successful Arcadia connected Sunday, December 26, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Hundreds of cars enactment the parking batch during Opening time of the winter-spring conscionable astatine Santa Anita Park successful Arcadia connected Sunday, December 26, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • A instrumentality looks implicit the racing programme during Opening time of the winter-spring conscionable astatine Santa Anita Park successful Arcadia connected Sunday, December 26, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Jockey Flavien Prat riding Flightline wins the Malibu Stakes Grade 1 contention during Opening time of the winter-spring conscionable astatine Santa Anita Park successful Arcadia connected Sunday, December 26, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Jockey Flavien Prat riding Flightline wins the Malibu Stakes Grade 1 contention during Opening time of the winter-spring conscionable astatine Santa Anita Park successful Arcadia connected Sunday, December 26, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Jockey John Velazquez (3) riding Kalypso wins the La Brea Stakes (Grade 1) during Opening time of the winter-spring conscionable astatine Santa Anita Park successful Arcadia connected Sunday, December 26, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Horse racing fans are silhouetted arsenic they locomotion done the expansive stands during Opening time of the winter-spring conscionable astatine Santa Anita Park successful Arcadia connected Sunday, December 26, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Jockey Victor Espinoza riding Express Train wins the San Antonio Stakes (Grade II) contention during Opening time of the winter-spring conscionable astatine Santa Anita Park successful Arcadia connected Sunday, December 26, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Jockey Victor Espinoza (2) riding Express Train wins the San Antonio Stakes (Grade II) contention during Opening time of the winter-spring conscionable astatine Santa Anita Park successful Arcadia connected Sunday, December 26, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Jockey Victor Espinoza riding Express Train reacts aft winning the San Antonio Stakes (Grade II) contention during Opening time of the winter-spring conscionable astatine Santa Anita Park successful Arcadia connected Sunday, December 26, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Jockey Victor Espinoza (2) riding Express Train wins the San Antonio Stakes (Grade II) contention during Opening time of the winter-spring conscionable astatine Santa Anita Park successful Arcadia connected Sunday, December 26, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Jockey John Velazquez (3) riding Kalypso wins the La Brea Stakes (Grade 1) during Opening time of the winter-spring conscionable astatine Santa Anita Park successful Arcadia connected Sunday, December 26, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Jockey Jose Ortiz (9) riding Law Professor Santa Anita Mathis Mile (Grade II) during Opening time of the winter-spring conscionable astatine Santa Anita Park successful Arcadia connected Sunday, December 26, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Jockey Jose Ortiz (9) riding Law Professor Santa Anita Mathis Mile (Grade II) during Opening time of the winter-spring conscionable astatine Santa Anita Park successful Arcadia connected Sunday, December 26, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Jockey Victor Espinoza (2) riding Express Train wins the San Antonio Stakes (Grade II) contention during Opening time of the winter-spring conscionable astatine Santa Anita Park successful Arcadia connected Sunday, December 26, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Horn Blower Jay Cohen performs during Opening time of the winter-spring conscionable astatine Santa Anita Park successful Arcadia connected Sunday, December 26, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Jockey Flavien Prat riding Flightline wins the Malibu Stakes Grade 1 contention during Opening time of the winter-spring conscionable astatine Santa Anita Park successful Arcadia connected Sunday, December 26, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • A instrumentality cheers connected Jockey Flavien Prat riding Flightline arsenic helium wins the Malibu Stakes Grade 1 contention during Opening time of the winter-spring conscionable astatine Santa Anita Park successful Arcadia connected Sunday, December 26, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Fans look connected during Opening time of the winter-spring conscionable astatine Santa Anita Park successful Arcadia connected Sunday, December 26, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • The Malibu Stakes Grade 1 contention during Opening time of the winter-spring conscionable astatine Santa Anita Park successful Arcadia connected Sunday, December 26, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

  • Jockey John Valezquez riding Eight Rings finished 3rd successful the San Antonio Stakes (Grade II) contention during Opening time of the winter-spring conscionable astatine Santa Anita Park successful Arcadia connected Sunday, December 26, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

Express Train regained his signifier successful the $200,000 San Antonio Stakes connected Sunday’s opening time of Santa Anita’s winter-spring meet, getting up successful the past fewer jumps nether Victor Espinoza to upset 1-5 favourite Hot Rod Charlie arsenic a 7-1 outsider.

The 4-year-old Union Rags colt, coming disconnected third- and sixth-place finishes successful the Pacific Classic astatine Del Mar and Awesome Again astatine Santa Anita, respectively, evidently enjoyed the driblet backmost into Grade II institution portion picking up the $120,000 first-place cheque for trainer John Shirreffs.

Eight Rings, connected the wrong nether John Velazquez, and Hot Rod Charlie and Flavien Prat to their outside, battled for the pb successful aboriginal stretch, but Express Train was closing connected the extracurricular of some and yet wore down Hot Rod Charlie, who finished a half-length successful beforehand of Eight Rings for second.

“Turning for location and squeezing for the pb is erstwhile helium truly accelerated,” Espinoza said of the winner, who won the Grade II San Diego Handicap astatine Del Mar successful July earlier faltering successful the Grade I races. “I knew my lone changeable was to cipher him to triumph close astatine the wire. Sometimes things spell the mode we cipher turning for home, and sometimes they don’t. Today it worked retired and we got it close astatine the wire.”

Said Prat of Hot Rod Charlie: “It was a bully race. I had to support him successful the contention due to the fact that helium wasn’t traveling the mode helium usually does. I was truly pleased with my position, and helium made a bully determination astir the 4th pole, but helium conscionable couldn’t get determination successful the end.”

Hot Rod Charlie’s trainer Doug O’Neill, who said past week the 3-year-old Oxbow colt would beryllium flown to Dubai the mediate of adjacent period to hole for the $12 cardinal Dubai World Cup connected March 26, wasn’t discouraged by the loss.

“We got bushed a bob. He ran great,” helium said. “He’s fine. We are precise optimistic astir the adjacent twelvemonth with him. I’m arrogant of him and the connections. He ran a large race.”Final clip for the 1 1/16 miles implicit a accelerated main way was 1:44.82.

La Brea Stakes

Trainer Bob Baffert was expected to triumph the $300,000 Grade I lawsuit for 3-year-old fillies, but it was his 8-1 longshot, Kalypso, who grabbed archetypal prize by 4 3/4 lengths implicit 20-1 longshot Brilliant Cut.

A girl of Brody’s Cause, Kalypso hadn’t won since taking the Grade II Santa Ynez Stakes astatine Santa Anita connected Jan. 3, but she was overmuch amended successful the La Brea than stablemate Private Mission, the 3-5 favourite who struggled location sixth successful the seven-horse field.

The triumph was Velazquez’s 4th of the day. Kalypso ran the 7 furlongs successful 1:24.78.

American Oaks

Queen Goddess ran the different 9 3-year-old fillies disconnected their feet, winning the $300,000 Grade I contention by 2 3/4 lengths successful gate-to-wire manner nether Juan Hernandez for trainer Michael McCarthy astatine 14-1 odds.

The Empire Maker filly had ne'er raced connected the ungraded successful 5 starts, making it a question whether she could power surfaces successfully erstwhile the contention was switched to the main way aboriginal Sunday morning.

But it was nary occupation for Queen Goddess, who ran the mile and a 4th successful 2:04.72 for her 3rd triumph successful six tries.

San Gabriel Stakes

Bob and Jackie, making the archetypal commencement of his vocation connected the main way successful 16 starts, went gross to ligament astatine 5-1 successful the $200,000 Grade II race, holding disconnected the 3-5 favorite, Friar’s Road, by a chemoreceptor for his 5th vocation victory.

The 5-year-old lad of Twirling Candy recovered his archetypal commencement connected the main way nary occupation aft the San Gabriel was switched from turf to the ungraded due to the fact that of the caller rain. Ridden by Jose Valdivia and trained by Richard Baltas, Bob and Jackie collected the $120,000 first-place cheque to hike his vocation net to $484,631.

Final clip for the 1 1/8 miles was 1:53.51 implicit a way labeled fast.

Mathis Mile

Law Professor, ridden by Jose Ortiz Jr. and trained by McCarthy, won his archetypal stakes contention connected his 2nd effort aft tracking the pacesetter and 7-5 favourite Beyond Brilliant from 2nd astir of the mode successful the $200,000 Grade II contention primitively scheduled for the turf but switched to the main track.

Ridden by Jose Ortiz Jr. and trained by Michael McCarthy, Law Professor bushed Beyond Brilliant by a half-length arsenic the 3rd betting prime astatine 4-1 portion moving the 1 mile successful 1:37.41.

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