04/21/2013 6:24PM

Santa Anita: Nose separates Interaction, All Squared Away in San Juan Capistrano

Benoit & Associates
Interaction comes along the inside under Joe Talamo to barely overtake All Squared Away in the Grade 2 San Juan Capistrano.

ARCADIA, Calif. - It only takes a nose margin to win the San Juan Capistrano Handicap over about 1 3/4 miles on turf at Santa Anita these days.

Last year, Bourbon Bay beat Eagle Poise by a nose in a thrilling running of the Grade 2 race.

Sunday, on the final day of the winter-spring meeting, Interaction and All Squared Away equaled that excitement, with a nose separating them after a duel through the final furlong. All Squared Away, ridden by Edwin Maldonado, led by two lengths with a furlong remaining, but could not hold off Interaction ($10), who was ridden by Joe Talamo.

“I like it when it’s that close, especially when I’m in front,” Talamo said.

Talamo had Interaction last in the field of six for the first half-mile and was fifth and then fourth through the next mile. Trained by Ron McAnally, Interaction rallied on the inside through the final quarter-mile to move into second with a furlong to go. Interaction needed the entire stretch to catch All Squared Away.

“He’s definitely one that you don’t want to lay too close with,” Talamo said. “He was very courageous in the last eighth. He showed a lot of heart. We were both riding as hard as we could.”

Interaction was timed in 2:44.89. All Squared Away was third early and made the lead on the turn. The loss frustrated jockey Edwin Maldonado, who thought All Squared Away would win.

 “I might have moved too soon,” Maldonado said. “I was full of horse. My horse kind of got lost on the lead.”

Smart Ellis finished third, followed by Lime Rickey, Fire With Fire, and Sky Kingdom, the 6-5 favorite.

Sky Kingdom, the winner of the Grade 3 Tokyo City Cup over 1 1/2 miles on the main track on March 23, made his turf course debut in the San Juan Capistrano. Sky Kingdom led for the first 1 1/4 miles, but faded from contention in early stretch.

Interaction, a 7-year-old Argentine-bred, won his first stakes in the United States in the San Juan Capistrano. Owned by Jose Cerillo and Federico Fantini, Jr., Interaction won the Group 1 Carlos Pellegrini in Argentina over about 1 1/2 miles in 2009.

Interaction has won 7 of 23 starts and $714,463. Earlier at this meeting, Interaction was second in the Grade 2 San Marcos Stakes.

Interaction gave McAnally, 80, his third career win in the San Juan Capistrano, preceded by John Henry in 1980 and Amerique in 1998.