Mark Glatt enjoyed a fantastic Friday when he saddled Tamaraandtheboys to win the seventh race at Santa Anita with Assael Espinoza in the irons, after sending out first-time starter Striking a Pose to register a $54.20 upset under Umberto Rispoli in the fifth race.
Tamaraandtheboys, a four-year-old daughter of Clubhouse Ride, is owned by Glatt and 67-year-old basketball Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino, who campaigns as RAP Racing.
“We each own 50 percent of the horse,” said the 46-year-old Glatt, a successful fixture on the Southern California circuit after departing from the Great Northwest. “We got together through a mutual friend, Bob Bone. He owns part of a three-year-old Cal-bred filly I train as well. But this is the first horse I've had for Rick.”
Pitino's career includes college tours with the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville, and, on the professional level, the NBA's Boston Celtics and New York Knicks.
Striking a Pose, a four-year-old Washington-bred gelding by Majesticperfection out of the Smart Strike dam Striking Scholar, was making his debut in a maiden allowance test and won the mile event by three-quarters of a length.
“He's got a half-brother that won the (Grade III) Longacres Mile in back-to-back years,” Glatt pointed out, alluding to Stryker Phd, winner in 2014 and 2015 under Leslie Mawing for trainer Larry Ross. “It's a Smart Strike mare and she's had one other horse that had some ability, so she's been a good-producing mare so far.”
As for Rispoli, a two-time champion in his native Italy, Glatt is one of a growing number of horsemen and handicappers the rider has won over through 28 days of the Winter Meet, where he has 21 wins, good for fourth in the standings.
“He's doing great,” Glatt said. “He's excellent on the turf, but really rides everything pretty good. He seems very intelligent and he knows what to tell you after a race. His input has been very useful so far. It makes sense and I think they're all reasons he's doing well.”
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