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Santa Anita: Obviously wins Arroyo Seco Mile; Breeders’ Cup Mile may be next
ARCADIA, Calif. – Obviously keeps winning major turf mile stakes in Southern California and keeps getting closer to a start in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita on Nov. 3.
Saturday, the 4-year-old gelding won his second consecutive Grade 2 race for turf milers in the $150,000 Arroyo Seco Mile at Santa Anita, the local prep for the BC Mile.
Ridden by Joe Talamo, Obviously ran a mile in 1:31.95, finishing just .06 of a second slower than Atticus’s 1997 course record of 1:31.89. Obviously paid $4.40.
Trailblazer, a Japanese shipper who had not started since May, finished second, a half-length in front of Mr. Commons.
The win by Obviously left Talamo enthused about the BC Mile.
“He’s got the highest cruising speed of any horse I’ve ever ridden,” Talamo said.
“For him to quicken like that in the last furlong is amazing. He keeps on surprising me with how fast he’s going.”
Obviously led by as much as 2 1/2 lengths on the backstretch, setting early fractions of 23.05 and 45.86 seconds. He led by 1 1/2 lengths with a furlong remaining, an advantage that diminished to a half-length at the wire.
Owned by Anthony Fanticola and Joe Scardino, Obviously won the Grade 2 Del Mar Mile in course-record time (1:32.10) on Aug. 26, leading by as much as five lengths midway through the race. Trainer Mike Mitchell said that the style of Saturday’s win reassured him that Obviously is not just a speed-crazy runner who must tear away from his rivals to maintain his lead in the stretch.
“They went quick, but the first couple of fractions they slowed it down,” Mitchell said. “I don’t think he has to be 10 or 15 lengths in front to win.”
Obviously must be nominated to the BC Mile by Oct. 22, a decision that was clinched by the win Saturday.
“He needed to perform like this to consider the Breeders’ Cup,” Mitchell said.
Obviously is tough but his assignment will be in the BC Mile. Look out for Wise Dan and euros.
This is nitpicky, but Obviously's half mile wasn't as fast as it seems on paper. 45.86 seconds is normally an awesome half mile time, but the final time was sub 1:32 which means the turf is pretty hard. The other one mile grass race featuring resticted fillies, albeit a stakes race, was run in 1:33 and 3/5ths, but they covered the half mile in 45.50 seconds. My guess is that Obviously is going to face more early pressure than he's used to in the BC Mile, and I will let him beat me, though he certainly can hang on for a piece.
This nice performance over a course which has been noticeably slower than what one can expect at S.A. puts this horse among the vanguard for the B.C. mile.Talamo seems to fit him nicely at last and I'll bet my two dollars on him regardless of who shows up for that event.
Another nice run by Obviously. The BC Mile will undoubtedly be a tougher assignment, but if he can keep the form he's been showing, I certainly think he's liable to take it. Trailblazer is definitely one to keep an eye one. Great effort here, he's an exciting prospect, and will be interesting to see how he fares in the BC. Looks like he'll flourish with added distance. Mr. Commons has had a rather disappointing year, after his Sir Beaufort and Arcadia Handicap wins he looked like he'd be a force to deal with, but just hasn't shown it. On the plus side, the horses who've finished in front of him in each loss have run very fast winning times, so it could be it takes a lot to beat him. He could hit the board in the BC Mile, or who knows even surprise it.
Obviously proved he's more than a Del Mar horse for course. For the third race in a row he approached a track record, today coming just 6/100ths of a second from a 15 year old record. I have Obviously ranked 2nd behind Wise Dan among North American hopefuls for the BC Mile. Obviously will be key for anyone's handicapping of the Mile because his tremendous early speed has the potential of distorting the race's shape. Obviously is a horse whose presence must be accounted for. Chances are, some horse will go with Obviously early in the Mile. Whether it's Little Mike or someone else, I think there will be at least one horse that will make it its duty to keep the pressure on Obviously from the start. And we haven't seen how Obviously handles a horse breathing down his neck. But today was encouraging, as Obviously demonstrated that he doesn't have to gun on the lead to run well. Mr. Commons lost yet again, but this was a second consecutive big effort from him, and he's clearly improved off 2 mediocre efforts at Hollywood. I don't see Mr. Commons winning the Mile, but he'll finally get a favorable pace setup, he should offer some value, and he likes Santa Anita. I can see him hitting the board. With all respect to Obviously and Mr. Commons, perhaps the story of the Arroyo Seco was the performance of Trailblazer. A confirmed 12 furlong horse making his first start since May and using the Arroyo Seco merely as a prep, Trailblazer had no business running within half a length of a near track record. Surprisingly to me, Trailblazer was able to remain in contact with Obviously early, and then outkicked Mr. Commons down the stretch. If this group 2 marathoner is this brilliant, how brilliant are the Japanese grade 1 milers? This was a powerful advertisement for the quality of Japanese racing, and a clear indication that Japan, like England and France, is light years ahead of North America on turf.
Steve Andersen, what about Trailblazer who ran second or Mr. Commons who finished third??? No mention of them in the article about a stakes race? They were within a length at the wire. Readers would like to know if Trailblazer will stretch out to a mile and a half in the Breeders cup or stay at a mile. Is Mr. Commons pointing to the mile, or maybe the turf sprint as he won so powerfully over the course when breaking his maiden... Are you too lazy to talk to anyoneb and find out??