Reddam Racing's Fore Left relished a return to sprinting as he rocketed from the gate and was all heart late in holding off stablemate Strongconstitution to take Sunday's $70,000 Sunny Slope Stakes at Santa Anita. Ridden by Mario Gutierrez, Fore Left, a Kentucky-bred colt by Twirling Candy, got 6 ½ furlongs in 1:17.54.
Seventh, beaten 31 lengths in the Grade I American Pharoah Stakes going 1 1/16 miles here on Sept. 27, Fore Left returned to the form he had demonstrated in his first three starts.
“He got back to what he does best today and it was great to see,” said O'Neill, the Autumn Meet's leading trainer with 18 wins through 14 ½ days of racing. “I'm really happy with both of my horses, they ran big. We tried two turns with (Fore Left) last time and this is much more what he's comfortable with…Really happy.”
A winner of the ungraded Tremont Lane Stakes four starts back at Belmont Park on June 7 and a close third three races back in the Grade II Best Pal Stakes going six furlongs at Del Mar on Aug. 10, Fore Left was off at 2-1 in a field of four juvenile colts and paid $6.20 and $3.60 (no show wagering).
“Fore Left is named after a good friend of ours who lives in the Bahamas,” said owner J. Paul Reddam. “It's after the way he hits the golf ball, meaning, it's going left.”
Out of the Unbridled's Song mare Simply Sunny, Fore Left, in garnering his second stakes victory, now has three wins from six overall starts. With the winner's share of $43,200, he increased his earnings to $199,551.
Strongconstitution, who sat third while head and head with 4-5 favorite Mo Hawk into the far turn, was second best, finishing 5 ¼ lengths clear of Zimba Warrior. Ridden by Martin Garcia, Strongconstitution was off at 5-2 and paid $3.20 to show.
Mo Hawk appeared spent a quarter mile out and finished last.
Fractions on the race were 22.51, 45.74 and 1:10.64
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