02/12/2011 8:03PM

Anthony's Cross takes Lewis; Tapizar fifth at 1-5

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BENOIT PHOTO
Anthony's Cross (middle) launches his winning move in the Robert Lewis.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Anthony’s Cross outlasted Riveting Reason to win the Grade 2, $250,000 Robert Lewis Stakes on Saturday at Santa Anita, a race in which heavily favored Tapizar faded to finish fifth, triggering outsized show payoffs.

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Anthony’s Cross ($18.60), who was second to Tapizar in the early going, took the lead into the stretch, then dueled with Riveting Reason through the final furlong, eventually prevailing by a narrow nose under jockey Joel Rosario. Quail Hill, a 68-1 shot who led the first furlong out of the gate but then fell back to last in the seven-horse field, re-rallied to finish third, 4 1/4 lengths behind Riveting Reason.

Tapizar was the 1-5 favorite based on his easy victory in last month’s Sham Stakes, as well as his seeming pace domination. But he was keyed up in the paddock, then got way too aggressive when Quail Hill shot to a brief lead out of the gate. After wildly pulling his way to the front and setting blistering fractions - 22.48 seconds for the opening quarter-mile, 45.64 seconds for a half-mile, and 1:09.92 for six furlongs - Tapizar was cooked.

A total of $189,178 was bet to show on Tapizar out of a pool of $221,574. As a result, Anthony’s Cross paid $15.60 to show, Riveting Reason paid $15.20 to show, and Quail Hill returned $48.60 to show.

"He seems to be walking okay right now," Steve Asmussen, the trainer of Tapizar, said as Tapizar cooled out at his barn after the race, "but he's pretty tired."

Anthony’s Cross completed 1 1/8 miles on the fast main track in 1:48.63. Eoin Harty trains him for the ADK Racing stable of Arianne de Kwiatkowski, the daughter of the late Henryk de Kwiatkowski, the prominent owner of such top horses as Conquistator Cielo and the man who bought bankrupt Calumet Farm. Anthony’s Cross was wearing the familiar white and red silks carried by de Kwiatkowski’s runners during the 1980s.

Harty also entered Anthony’s Cross in the El Camino Real Derby on Saturday at Golden Gate Fields. He chose the Lewis because, other than Tapizar, whom he feared, he thought the rest of the field was soft.

“Other than Tapizar, they were unproven, mostly turf horses,” Harty said. “Tapizar had me scared after his last start.”

In that race, the Sham, Anthony’s Cross finished third, 9 1/4 lengths behind Tapizar. Anthony’s Cross added blinkers for the Lewis.

“I thought he would come around more mentally on his own, but it didn’t happen, so I added blinkers and worked him twice in them before the race,” Harty said.

Anthony’s Cross, a son of Indian Charlie, has now won twice in six starts.

The win was particularly special for Harty in that, while an assistant to Bob Baffert, he was associated with many top runners owned by the late Lewis and his widow, Beverly, including Silver Charm, the 1997 Kentucky Derby winner.

By virtue of the Lewis win, Anthony’s Cross is now eligible for the Preakness 5.5, a $5.5 million bonus that would kick in should he win the Santa Anita Derby and then the Preakness Stakes.