02/25/2017 5:31PM

Ambitious Brew triumphs in three-horse Sensational Star

Barbara D. Livingston
Ambitious Brew (left) edges Richard's Boy to win the Sensational Star by a nose.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Three years after he won his first career stakes in the Sensational Star Stakes at Santa Anita, Ambitious Brew was back in the winner’s circle of the same race Saturday.

The emotions of owner and breeder Pamela Ziebarth and trainer Marty Jones toward Ambitious Brew have not changed in the ensuing years.

“He’s a special horse and he’s acted like that for four years,” Jones said.

Ambitious Brew began his career in May 2013 at Hollywood Park and has won 8 of 22 starts and has earned $559,225. Saturday’s Sensational Star was Ambitious Brew’s fourth stakes win.

It was well-earned. Ridden by Mike Smith, Ambitious Brew ($8.20) finished a nose in front of Richard’s Boy, the two racing within a half-length of each other through about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course.

Richard’s Boy led by a half-length with a furlong to go, but could not hold off Ambitious Brew, who was timed in 1:12.05. Bettys Bambino, the 2-5 favorite, was third throughout and finished 1 1/2 lengths behind Richard’s Boy.

Only three ran. Acceptance was scratched for Sunday’s Tiznow Stakes. Forest Chatter was scratched in favor of the Joe Hernandez Stakes on March 4, trainer Richard Mandella said.

The three runners were all recent stakes winners. Bettys Bambino won the Grade 3 San Simeon Stakes on the hillside turf course on Dec. 26. Richard’s Boy won the Cal Cup Sprint on Jan. 28. Ambitious Brew won a division of the Grade 3 Eddie D Stakes last September.

The Sensational Star Stakes, restricted to California-breds, was Ambitious Brew’s first start since a 13th in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint here Nov. 5. The time between races crossed Jones’s mind during the stretch duel.

“I hope he’s tight enough,” Jones said he thought in the final furlong.

“He seems to run well fresh. A three-horse race can be a tactical race.”