Last Saturday, Bay Area equine stars Mended and Krsto Skye represented the Golden Gate Fields racing community in a big way.
Mended, trained by John Martin, shipped east from the Albany, Calif., racetrack to run in the $110,000 Claiming Crown Glass Slipper at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla. The Kentucky-bred daughter of Broken Vow went off at odds of even money, shot to the front from the opening bell and pulled away from her 13 rivals down the stretch. Mended won the race by 6 3/4 lengths and earned an 87 Beyer speed figure for her effort. Regular rider Ricky Gonzalez flew to Florida to ride the 4-year-old filly and was still on cloud nine after returning home from the stakes-winning trip.
“We had a great trip,” said Ricky. “She's so confident right now and I was really confident the whole way around there. She was doing it easy so I was comfortable. I took a look behind me at one point and saw everyone was pumping on their horses. I knew right there we had it. What she's done in one year is unbelievable. She's one of my favorites for sure. It's really fun to ride her.”
Owned by Troy and Martiza Onorato, Mended may be one of the best claims in North America this year. Since being claimed for $12,500 in January, Mended has won 10 straight races and earned $185,900 for her “new” connections.
“She's turned into a nice filly,” said John Martin. “She came [to Gulfstream] and did nothing wrong. She has a lot of confidence right now…I started training her and ever since then she started getting better and better and better.”
About six hours after Mended's stakes triumph, Krsto Skye raced in an allowance optional claimer at the Los Alamitos Thoroughbred meet in Cypress, Calif. The Ari Herbertson trainee scored a 13-1 upset after stalking the pace under Southern California jockey Stewart Elliott. Krsto Skye earned an 86 Beyer for his victory, which was his fourth win from nine starts in 2017.
“I knew he'd take to the dirt but it was a pretty tough race,” said Ari. “I told Stewart [Elliott] to take a hold early and make one run late. He gave him a great ride. Krsto Skye does nothing but try hard every time for us. I'm really proud of him.”
Krsto Skye is owned by Ari's father, Scott Herbertson, who is currently the leading owner at the Golden Gate Fields Fall Meet. The Herbertson's claimed Krsto Skye for $8,000 in April and have won 4 races and earned $72,875 since the 5-year-old gelding joined their barn. His biggest win to date came on June 10 in The Albany Stakes, a five furlong turf dash. That afternoon, Krsto Skye went off at astronomical odds (62-1) and won the contest by a length and three-quarters. The Los Alamitos win was the first Southern California victory for Ari Herbertson. Coincidentally, last Saturday was Ari's 26th birthday.
“It's really tough to win in Southern California, no matter what the level is,” Ari said. “It was really cool to get that win. It was a great birthday present, that's for sure.”
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