05/29/2017 7:39PM

Marckie's Water wins fatality-marred Snow Chief Stakes

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Benoit & Associates
Marckie's Water and jockey Joe Talamo win the Snow Chief Stakes by 2 1/4 lengths.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Marckie’s Water won his stakes debut in Monday’s $201,035 Snow Chief Stakes for 3-year-old California-breds at Santa Anita, a race marred by a fatal injury suffered by Calli Way in the final furlong.

Marckie’s Water ($25) ran 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:46.45, closing with a wide rally through the final quarter-mile. Ridden by Joe Talamo for trainer Richard Baltas, Marckie’s Water won by 2 1/4 lengths over 9-1 Alsatian, who finished a half-length in front of 53-1 Dr. Troutman.

Accountability finished fourth, followed by More Power to Him, B Squared, Elwood J, Cheekaboomboom, Ninety Nine Proof, and Milton Freewater.

Calli Way, trained by Baltas, was racing in about sixth place when he injured a foreleg and fell heavily, unseating jockey Rafael Bejarano. Calli Way was euthanized as a result of the injuries, track stewards said.

Bejarano was attended to by ambulance personnel on the turf course and walked off the track on his own power. He spoke briefly with Baltas before being taken to first-aid, which is required after accidents. Bejarano was released from first-aid after a brief examination and will have another examination before being allowed to ride on Thursday, the next day of racing at Santa Anita, stewards said.

Calli Way won 2 of 6 starts and earned $69,835. He won an allowance race for California-bred turf milers on April 28 and was the 7-2 second choice in the Snow Chief.

Marckie’s Water is owned by the Little Red Feather Racing partnership. A colt by Tribal Rule, Marckie’s Water was bought privately before the start of his racing career. Marckie’s Water needed five races to beat maidens, doing so in a race for California-breds at 1 1/8 miles on turf April 22.

“We always wanted to run him on the grass,” said Billy Koch, the managing partner of Little Red Feather. “The way he looks in the morning, he looks like a grass horse. Joe did a great job of getting him to relax and putting him in the right spot.”

Marckie’s Water earned $110,000 and has earned $155,585 in his six-race career.

Koch said Marckie’s Water’s win was tempered by the injury to Calli Way. Little Red Feather has runners with Baltas.

“I feel so terrible for him to lose his other horse,” Koch said. “It puts a damper on this. My heart goes out to him and his team.”

The Snow Chief Stakes was the day’s eighth race. In the final race, a five-furlong race for maiden claimers, Stormin Tina fell heavily in the final furlong of her first career start.