12/26/2015 6:35PM

D'Amato-trained longshots one-two in Daytona

Benoit & Associates
Toowindytohaulrox, with Tiago Pereira aboard, outfinishes stablemate Coastline by a neck to pay $44.60 for winning the Grade 3 Daytona Stakes.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Toowindytohaulrox led a one-two finish of longshots for trainer Phil D’Amato in the Grade 3, $101,750 Daytona Stakes on Saturday at Santa Anita, the first of four graded stakes races run on the opening-day card.

 Saving ground in turf races is often paramount, but a horse’s comfort zone is even more important, and that’s why D’Amato instructed jockey Tiago Pereira to stay wide with Toowindytohaulrox after starting from an outside post in the sprint on the downhill turf course, where wide draws can be advantageous with the right-hand turn a quarter-mile into the race.

Though far back and wide early, Toowindytohaulrox ($44.60) came rolling down the stretch and just did outfinish his stablemate Coastline, at 52-1 the longest shot in the race, to win by a neck in 1:14.26 for about 6 1/2 furlongs on the firm course.

 Rocket Heat, a 41-1 outsider and the early pacesetter, was third, and The Great War, at 8-1, was fourth.

 The parade of longshots triggered giant exotics of $762.20 for a $1 exacta, $10,851.40 for a $1 trifecta, and $24,476.39 for the 10-cent superfecta.

 No Silent, the lukewarm favorite at 4-1, was seventh in the field of 12.

 Toowindytohaulrox had won twice in one-mile turf allowance races earlier in the year, and most recently was third in the Grade 2 Seabiscuit going 1 1/16 miles at Del Mar on Nov. 27. But his turf sprints were competitive; including a fourth-place finish behind No Silent in the Grade 3 Eddie D. here on Oct. 3, after which he was moved up to third via disqualification.

 “He was unlucky,” D’Amato said of the Eddie D., prompting him to tell Pereira “to stay outside, don’t try to weave between.

 “He likes being in the clear,” D’Amato said. “Anytime you try to split horses he just doesn’t like it.”

 D’Amato said that even though Toowindytohaulrox has won going two turns, “a lot of times going a mile he loses his punch, but when he runs down the hill he’s the one passing horses.”

 Toowindytohaulrox, 4, a colt by Harlan’s Holiday, has now won 4 of 19 starts. The $60,000 first prize on Saturday increased his career bankroll to $310,392. He is owned by Rebecca Wanta's Queen Bee Racing LLC.