12/26/2011 7:19PM

Santa Anita: Got Even leads all the way in California Breeders’ Champion Stakes


ARCADIA, Calif. – Got Even seized the lead right out of the gate and led every step of the way when capturing the 2-year-old male division of the $100,000 California Breeders’ Champion Stakes on Monday at Santa Anita.

Got Even has natural speed, but his cause was greatly aided when Motown Men, who figured to be prominent early, stumbled badly coming out of the gate. Got Even was hounded by Johnny Be Mine for the first half-mile of the seven-furlong race, but he put that rival away and then bounded clear to a 4 1/4-length win that even surprised his trainer and co-owner, Peter Miller.

“I was thinking, ‘When’s he gonna stop? When’s he gonna stop?’ ” Miller admitted. “I don’t know where that race came from. He ran well in a starter allowance at Hollywood, but this way surpassed that.”

Got Even ($27.20) completed seven furlongs on the fast main track in 1:21.39 following fractions of 22.17 seconds for the opening quarter-mile, 44.41 for a half-mile, and 1:08.27 for six furlongs.

Exotic Slew, a 17-1 shot, nosed out Passing Game for second. Favored Stoney Fleece was fifth, and Motown Men was seventh in the field of nine.

Garrett Gomez rode Got Even, a son of Stephen Got Even who is now 3 for 4 since being gelded during the Del Mar meet. All his wins have been in sprints, and he is 2 for 2 on Santa Anita’s dirt track. Got Even won a maiden-claimer at Santa Anita in October, then won a starter allowance at Hollywood Park’s fall meeting on Nov. 13 before tiring to finish eighth of nine in the Grade 3 Generous on the turf at Hollywood on Nov. 27.

In addition to Miller, the other owners of Got Even are Bruce Chandler, Jeff Fink, and Mark Umeda.