10/04/2014 8:08PM

Big Bane Theory strengthens Breeders' Cup credentials

Benoit & Associates
Big Bane Theory, ridden by Joe Talomo, takes the City of Hope Mile.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Big Bane Theory is rounding into career-best form at an ideal time this fall.

Saturday, Big Bane Theory won the first stakes of his career in the $201,500 City of Hope Stakes over a mile on turf. The victory could lead to a start in the Breeders’ Cup Mile here on Nov. 1.

Big Bane Theory was ridden by Joe Talamo, his third win on turf on Saturday at Santa Anita. Sent off favored, Big Bane Theory ($7.60) raced on the rail throughout. Talamo had Big Bane Theory in fifth on the backstretch and closed steadily on the turn to take the lead in early stretch.

“We were able to stay on the rail the whole way,” Talamo said. “The fractions were pretty good. I tried to be a good pilot and point him in the right direction.”

Big Bane Theory led by 1 1/2 lengths with a furlong remaining and held off Mr. Commons to win the same margin. Jockey Tyler Baze said he was forced to move earlier than expected on Mr. Commons to avoid traffic.

“I had a hole to go through but I didn’t have a choice,” he said. “If I didn’t go, it would close.”

Big Bane Theory ran a mile on turf in 1:32.38. Avanzare, a 10-1 shot, finished third, followed by Rock Me Baby, Grand Tito, Trend, Soi Phet, Poshsky, Fast Track, Schoolofhardrocks,  and Pepper Crown.

Big Bane Theory, a 5-year-old horse by Artie Schiller, is a California-bred owned by breeders Scott Gross and Mark Devereaux. Trained by Carla Gaines, Big Bane Theory has won 4 of 11 starts and earned $330,640.

The Grade 2 City of Hope Mile was Big Bane Theory’s second start of the year, preceded by a second by a head in the Harry Brubaker Stakes at Del Mar on Aug. 30. Until Saturday, the Brubaker Stakes was Big Bane Theory’s best result in a stakes.