10/10/2016 8:38PM

Big Score prevails in Zuma Beach Stakes


ARCADIA, Calif. – Big Score has been jockey Flavien Prat’s leading juvenile turf runner this year.

Prat rode Big Score to a second-place finish in the Del Mar Juvenile Turf on Sept. 3, a one-length loss that left the 23-year-old rider frustrated at what could have happened with a better trip.

Prat made amends when he guided Big Score to an attractive win in Monday’s $102,415 Zuma Beach Stakes at a mile on turf at Santa Anita.

“He deserved it,” Prat said.

The win left Prat, owner George Krikorian, and trainer Tim Yakteen anxious to start Big Score in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile here on Nov. 4.

Big Score ($11.60) was timed in 1:33.56 on a course that has played fast at the current autumn meeting. Breaking from post 11 in a field of 12, Big Score rallied from sixth to reach the front in early stretch.

Riser, a maiden-race winner from Golden Gate Fields, set a quick pace of 21.89 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 44.83 for a half-mile. Big Score moved into third on the turn to reach contention before winning by 3 1/4 lengths over 4-1 Sonic Boom, a shipper from Kentucky.

“I was outside and took my time,” Prat said. “The pace was fast.”

Ventry Bay, a 12-1 shot who drew into the field from the also-eligible list, finished third, followed by Harbour Master, Oopper Wallah, Offshore, Billy Big, Bowies Hero, Riser, Colonel Samsen, Secret House, and Sorry Erik.

Bowies Hero, the winner of the Del Mar Juvenile Turf, was the 2-1 favorite. Bowies Hero raced in midpack throughout and was never a threat.

Big Score, by Mr. Big, was bred by Krikorian and has earned $117,800 from three starts. The colt won his debut in a one-mile maiden race at Del Mar on July 24 before losing as the 2-1 favorite in the Del Mar Juvenile Turf. The loss still stings Prat.

“Since he won the first time, I thought he was a good horse,” Prat said. “Last time, I thought he was too far back, and I had to wait to get through. I couldn’t catch them.”

Big Score caught the competition in the Zuma Beach Stakes to gain deserved attention in the juvenile turf division.