01/13/2011 6:42PM

Santa Anita: Track is wickedly fast


The maiden claimer Espirito Santo ran 5 1-2 furlongs in a rapid 1:01.88, just missing Kona Gold's 1999 track record of 1:01.74 set that year in the El Conejo Stakes.

Espirito Santo dueled with 4-5 favorite Fleet Continental through fractions of 21.27 and 43.75 seconds before pulling away to win by 3 1-4 lengths under Kerwin John. Jeffrey's Groove finished second in tthe field of seven. Espirito Santo was making his second start in the $30,000 claiming race for maidens. At Saratoga last August, Espirito Santo was fourth in a maiden special weight race over 5 1-2 furlongs on turf. The 4-year-old colt is by Hennessy, owned by Southern Equine Stable and trained by Eric Guillot.

Already at this meeting, track records have been set over six and seven furlongs. The track installed a sand-and-clay surface in November, replacing a synthetic surface that was plagued by drainage problems.