12/26/2016 7:56PM

Bettys Bambino wins San Simeon off 22-month layoff

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Benoit & Associates
Bettys Bambino, with Joel Rosario aboard, wins his fifth consecutive race in the San Simeon Stakes on Monday.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Bettys Bambino began a winning streak in September 2014, had it interrupted by a layoff for 22 months, and resumed the streak with fanfare on Monday. Bettys Bambino won his fifth consecutive race, and third straight stakes, in the $102,415 San Simeon Stakes at Santa Anita.

All five wins have come on the hillside turf course.

The layoff was caused by a suspensory injury and later a fractured shoulder, trainer Peter Eurton said. A 6-year-old gelding, Bettys Bambino showed no ill effects from the lengthy break in the Grade 2 San Simeon Stakes.

“It was a lot of waiting and a lot of patience on the owners’ side,” Eurton said. “He’s too talented.”

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Bettys Bambino ($15.80) closed from sixth in a field of 12 to win by a convincing 2 1/4 lengths over 6-1 Stormy Liberal, who led in the stretch.

Ridden by Joel Rosario, Bettys Bambino was away well and stalked early pacesetter Hobbits Hero, who set an early pace of 21.60 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 43.36 for a half-mile. Rosario had Bettys Bambino wide as the field moved off the hillside turf course and onto the main oval, but was within two or three lengths of the front.

“I thought, How much wider will he go?” Eurton said.

Bettys Bambino was second with a furlong remaining and rallied well to finish about 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:11.95.

“I wanted to get him comfortable,” Rosario said. “He gave me a good feeling. He leveled off with his stride.”

Stormy Liberal finished a head in front of Richard’s Boy, the 4-1 favorite, who was third. Horse Laugh, the 70-1 longest shot in the field, finished fourth, followed by Acceptance, Cape Wolfe, Ohio, He Will, Hobbits Hero, Drummer, Holy Lute, and Iron Rob.

Bettys Bambino, a California-bred by Unusual Heat, races for Sharon Alesia, Bran Jam Stable, and Joe Ciaglia. The winning streak includes an allowance race, optional claimer, and the Grade 3 Daytona Stakes in the final months of 2014. Bettys Bambino won the Sensational Star Stakes for California-breds in February 2015 before he was taken out of training.

Bettys Bambino has won 7 of 11 starts and earned $378,036.