In his first start for trainer Richard Baltas, favored Neptune's Storm looked the part of a consummate professional as he stalked the early pace and proved gamest late in winning Sunday's $100,000 Singletary Stakes by three quarters of a length. Ridden for the first time by Drayden Van Dyke, Neptune's Storm, a 3-year-old Kentucky-bred gelding by Stormy Atlantic, got a flat mile over the Santa Anita turf in 1:34.33.
“This is a very game horse,” said Van Dyke. “We had (early pacesetter) Big Scott Daddy as a target and when we passed him on the far turn, he threw his ears up and waited a little bit on those other horses. When they came to him, he re-broke and really ran hard. He's a nice horse.”
Most recently a well beaten second in the March 2 Pasadena Stakes going a mile on a sloppy track, Neptune's Storm, who is out of the Irish-bred mare Immortal Life, was the 2-1 favorite in a field of seven sophomores and paid $6.80, $3.60 and $2.80.
Owned by Cybertec International Inc., Saul Gevertz, Lynn Gitomer, Mike Goetz and Daniel Weiner, Neptune's Storm, who had been trained in his seven previous starts by William Morey, picked up $60,000 for the win, increasing his earnings to $159,585.
“We got lucky with this horse, he came to us in great shape from Billy (Morey),” said Baltas. “He was a little lazy in his first work, but he's been training well. I saw this morning that two of the clocking sheets had each given him a B-plus, which I've never seen. He doesn't show off in the morning, but as you saw, he can run.”
On the lead a furlong out, Neptune's Storm was confronted to his outside by Irish-bred Jasikan and to his inside by Shining Through, but he repelled both challenges with the look of a horse who's got graded stakes in his immediate future.
Ridden by Flavien Prat, Shining Through finished second by a neck. Off as the second choice at 3-1, Shining Through paid $3.80 and $3.00.
Jasikan, in his U.S. debut with Rafael Bejarano, finished 2 ¾ lengths in front of King of Speed. Off at 9-1, Jasikan paid $4.40 to show.
With the temporary inner rail set at 20 feet, fractions on the race were 23.80, 47.06, 1:10.52 and 1:22.49.
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