12/29/2012 7:46PM

Santa Anita: Comma to the Top goes over $1 million mark with Daytona score

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Benoit & Associates
Edwin Maldonado, a late substitute for an injured Corey Nakatani, guided Comma to the Top to victory in the $100,000 Daytona Stakes.

ARCADIA, Calif. - With a new jockey, Comma to the Top was up to his old habits on Saturday, racing bravely on the lead to win the $100,000 Daytona Stakes on a wet-fast main track at Santa Anita.

Comma to the Top won his sixth stakes in the Daytona, and surpassed $1 million in career earnings. He has earned $1,027,696 in his 25-race career.

Jockey Edwin Maldonado rode Comma to the Top for the first time, replacing Corey Nakatani, who took off his mounts in the middle of the afternoon after being involved in a spill. The Daytona was Maldonado’s third win of the day.

Maldonado had Comma to the Top on the lead from the start. They set a quick pace of 21.78 and 44.16 seconds, and won by 1 3/4 lengths over 14-1 Clubhouse Ride, the longest shot in a field of five. Ain’t No Other, who was near Comma to the Top early, finished third, followed by Capital Account and Wilkinson.

The race was originally scheduled for about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course, but was reduced to five after morning rain led to a surface switch. There were six scratches after the surface switch was announced.

Maldonado and trainer Peter Miller discussed having Comma to the Top on the lead in the Daytona.

“He said, ‘Ride your race,’” Maldonado said. “It worked out perfect.”

Comma to the Top raced well off the rail in the stretch, which Maldonado said was by design.

“The idea was to drift out into the best part of the track,” he said.

Owned by Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum and Kevin Tsujihara, Comma to the Top is a 4-year-old Florida-bred gelding by Bwana Charlie. He won the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity in 2010. In 2011, he was second in the Santa Anita Derby and was 19th in the Kentucky Derby after being near the early pace.

This year, Comma to the Top has won four races, including the Pirate’s Bounty Stakes at Del Mar in September and the Big Bear Handicap here in October.

chairmanwong0 More than 1 year ago
Maldonado had Comma on the wrong lead for the entire stretch. Best jockeys get their horses to switch leads. Watch a race by Gomez to ask his horses to switch leads. No nonsense.
Quite A Dude More than 1 year ago
Dude, this horse rarely is on his correct lead in the lane. Some horses just dont switch by nature. Miller even told Maldonado to not worry if the horse failed to switch leads..... Know what your talking about before criticizing. Makes you look like an idiot..
Advance Plumbing More than 1 year ago
ur brains r leakin put a cap on . Horse could of won backwards.
Vince More than 1 year ago
he beat a five horse field with the favorite.........
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Maldonado, the best jock in SO Cal. Edwin you the man! Bro....
Advance Plumbing More than 1 year ago
Not really, but he's a good one.