06/10/2017 7:50PM

New jockey, new strategy earn Sharp Samurai upset in Pasadena

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Benoit & Associates
Sharp Samurai paid $12.80 in winning the Pasadena Stakes at Santa Anita on Saturday.

ARCADIA, Calif. – With a new jockey employing new strategy, Sharp Samurai ($12.80) and Gary Stevens rallied from off the pace to upset even-money Conquest Farenheit in the $75,000 Pasadena Stakes Saturday at Santa Anita.

Last time out, Sharp Samurai was burned up in a pace battle, finishing fourth as the favorite in a one-mile turf stakes. He switched to Stevens for the Pasadena, a 1 1/8-mile turf race for 3-year-olds. Stevens took Sharp Samurai off the pace, saved ground on the far turn, rallied inside in the lane and won by a 1 1/4 lengths.

“It was a Hall-of-Fame ride,” trainer Mark Glatt said. “He (Stevens) was able to get him settled back. (Sharp Samurai) is learning, and maturing.”

Conquest Farenheit finished second, 1 1/4 lengths in front of pacesetter Monster Man.

Monster Man jumped to the lead, and set fractions of 48.18 and 1:11.95 while Conquest Farenheit chased in second. The two drifted off the rail into the lane, which allowed Sharp Samurai and Stevens to rally inside and draw off in 1:47.51.

Monster Man took up while tiring in deep stretch. Stewards posted the inquiry, but made no change to the order of finish.

Sharp Samurai, a gelding by First Samurai, is owned by Glatt, and Al and Sandee Kirkwood. The win was his third from six starts; all three have been since he was gelded.

** The 2-year-old colt Runaway Ghost may have established himself as the favorite for the Santa Anita Juvenile Stakes next month with an impressive maiden victory Saturday in race 5. Runaway Ghost, a Ghostzapper colt trained by Mike Machowsky and ridden by Joe Talamo, won the five-furlong race by 1 3/4 lengths over even-money first-time starter Serengeti.

Runaway Ghost ($6.40), a second-time starter owned by his breeder Joe Peacock, ran five furlongs in 58.14 and won with energy in reserve. The $100,000 Santa Anita Juvenile at 5 1/2 furlongs will be run July 2.