Pomona, Calif. (Sept. 14, 2008) – Jockey Victor Espinoza has accepted only one mount at the Fairplex Park meet and became the top winning percentage rider when he guided Triumphant Flight to victory in the $131,250 Barretts Juvenile for 2-year-olds at 6 ˝ furlongs on Sunday.
Triumphant Flight, the 4-5 favorite, and 9-1 outsider Mr. Rod with jockey Joe Talamo aboard made the Barretts Juvenile a two-horse race as the pair battled head-and-head through fast early fractions for the first five furlongs.
But at the top of the stretch Triumphant Flight ex erted his superiority and drew off to defeat Mr. Rod by three lengths in 1:18.48.
Danny Q rallied for third another three-quarters of length behind with Catalina Fog fourth.
Espinoza hadn’t ridden a race since the close of the Del Mar meet on Sept. 3.
“I guess I’m a little out of shape,” said Espinoza with a smile after the race, “but with this kind of horse, you don’t have to be in shape.”
When the top two became embroiled in the heate d pace battle, winning trainer Eric Kruljac was concerned about the outcome.
“I was scared to death when Danny’s horse (Mr. Rod, trained by Dan Hendricks) was pushing us the whole way,” said a relieved Kruljac. “My hat’s off to him. But our horse was best today. We’ll definitely look at the Cal Cup (at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting on Oct. 5).
Triumphant Flight paid $3.60 and banked $68,063 for the victory.
* The $2 pick six carried over for the third consecutive day when four double digit winners found the charmed circle, including Swiss Lad ($19.20), Jody Rules ($47), Billionaire Bob ($22.20) and Ourtequilasunrise ($13.80).
The pick six carryover pool for Monday has swelled to $466,799.
There also is a $50,282 carryover pool in the $1 win pick nine.
* Jockey Victor Navarro suffered a broken wrist, five broken ribs, a broken nose and was complaining of severe pain in his back after a clubhouse spill in Sunday’s seventh race.
Navarro, who was riding 56-1 longshot Mi Golondrina, clipped heels of another horse on the first turn of the six furlong race for $20,000 claiming maidens and was tossed heavily to the ground. He was not hit by a trailing hor se while prone on the race track.
Navarro was rushed to nearby Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center where he was admitted for observation and further tests.
* Pappyscoronalilbro, ridden by jockey Eduardo Nicasio and trained by Guillermo Morales, won by a neck over Cattos Cocktail with Dsw Rager third in the $9,900 Brotherly Love Claiming Stakes, the first stakes race of the Pomona season for quarter horses.
Off a tad slowly at the start, Pappyscoronalilbro surged late to post a mild $11.20 upset in 11.97 for the 220 yards.