01/03/2015 9:04PM

Finnegans Wake closes strongly to capture San Gabriel

Benoit & Associates
Finnegans Wake, ridden by Victor Espinoza, earns his second consecutive Grade 2 stakes victory in the San Gabriel.

ARCADIA, Calif .- Stay close, trainer Peter Miller thought as he watched Finnegans Wake on the backstretch of Saturday’s $200,750 San Gabriel Stakes at Santa Anita.

Finnegans Wake won the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup over 1 1/2 miles at Del Mar on Nov. 27, and was cutting back in distance to 1 1/8 miles on turf for the Grade 2 San Gabriel. If Finnegans Wake did not have too much to do in the final furlong, a win was possible.

“I felt like we had a shot if he was within four or five lengths at the quarter pole,” Miller said.

Finnegans Wake, ridden by Victor Espinoza, trailed by approximately four lengths on the turn. With a wide rally, Finnegans Wake ($18) zoomed past five rivals in the final furlong to win by a length.

The win gave Miller thoughts of seven-figure stakes across the world, including potential starts in the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap on dirt here on March 7, or one of the $5 million turf races at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai on March 28 – the Sheema Classic over 1 1/2 miles or the Dubai Duty Free over 1 1/8 miles.

While that decision remains to be finalized, what is certain is that Finnegans Wake is in the best form of his career. The Turf Cup and San Gabriel are the first consecutive wins by Finnegans Wake in his 26-race career.

Despite his recent stakes win, Finnegans Wake was fourth betting choice in the San Gabriel. Espinoza had Finnegans Wake last in the field of eight on the first turn. Espinoza took a patient approach until early stretch.

“Victor gave him a super ride,” Miller said.

Finnegans Wake was timed in 1:48.38. Patriotricandproud, second in the Hollywood Turf Cup, closed from last in the final furlong to be second, three-quarters of a length in front of 26-1 Power Ped.

Tom’s Tribute, the 8-5 favorite, finished fourth. Ridden by Mike Smith, Tom’s Tribute was well-placed in early stretch, but could not sustain the effort and was beaten 1 3/4 lengths.

Skyring was fifth, followed by Dynamic Sky, Big Bane Theory, and Edge of Reality.

Finnegans Wake, a 6-year-old horse by Powerscourt, races for Donegal Racing and Rockingham Ranch. Finnegans Wake joined Miller’s stable from trainer Dale Romans during the summer when Rockingham Ranch became a partner. Last fall, Finnegans Wake finished 10th in the Breeders’ Cup Turf, five lengths behind Main Sequence.

Finnegans Wake has won 5 of 26 starts and earned $945,375.

mark More than 1 year ago
Good training job by Peter Miller. I cashed on this race thanks also to Casse's longshot running second. Insane prices yesterday. $ 48.00 Hector Palma, $82.00 Art Sherman, $ 27.20 Jack Carava, $ 62.20 Papadormorou, and the topper $ 176.20 by Hernandez in the last race. And the exactas, trifectas, and superfectas were fabulous. What a day to bring a wheel barrow for all that money. I took some home, too. And The race that Seduire won gave Jerry Hollendorfer yet another stakes win at a big price. Are the bettors not paying attention? And yes: ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
tommy More than 1 year ago
2,6,9 on top and you can't go wrong. It's outrageous, ridiculous , ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!! The pay out was OVER PAID!!!! I didn't ply daily double because morning line 3-1 sediure with 9-2 payout on double was over 100 dollars!!! Instead I just played the race before and only caught the exacta which paid 100 dollars. I was also going to play daily double 2,6,9 with ALL since the race after was an open race which he double paid over 1,000 dollars!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was fixed. The payout on the double is ficticious. The math says several tickets had it, but really they didnt. So gues what... Most of the handle / pool stayed with the track owners. A big number posted...but no winning tickets to pay off. Happens all the time, its called "long posting" by the insiders.
turbo More than 1 year ago
Talamo gave 'Bane a brutal ride.....betttors tend to overbet trouble lines, especially in turf races, so doubt he can be followed next time.