05/21/2016 9:08PM

Wild Dude wins, San Onofre breaks down in Kona Gold

Benoit & Associates
Wild Dude, under Rafael Bejarano, wins the Grade 2 Kona Gold by a length.

ARCADIA, Calif.- Wild Dude won his third graded stakes in the last year in Saturday’s $201,035 Kona Gold Stakes at Santa Anita, a race marred by a fatal injury to leading contender San Onofre.

San Onofre, the winner of Grade 3 races here and at Los Alamitos earlier this year, was pulled up a furlong into the race by jockey Edwin Maldonado after suffering sesamoid injuries. He was euthanized after his condition was evaluated in the stable area.

Wild Dude ($11.20) ran 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:15.10, benefiting from a clean trip under jockey Rafael Bejarano.

Breaking from the rail in a field of eight, Wild Dude stalked a quick pace set by 4-5 favorite Subtle Indian while racing on the inside. Turning into the stretch, Wild Dude closed along the rail.

“The horse was very comfortable,” Bejarano said. “I knew there was a little speed. I decided to wait a little bit. I let him go in the stretch.”

Wild Dude finished a length in front of Subtle Indian, who was a half-length in front of Cautious Giant. Coastline finished fourth, followed by Souper Knight, Sahara Sky, and Dream Saturday.

Wild Dude, a 6-year-old horse, has won 8 of 22 starts and earned $1,095,232. By Wildcat Heir, Wild Dude races for Green Smith Jr. and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.

Wild Dude’s victory in the Grade 2 Kona Gold ended a three-race losing streak since a win in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship here last October. Wild Dude won the Grade 1 Bing Crosby Stakes at Del Mar last summer.

Last fall, Wild Dude was sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Keeneland. Earlier this year, Wild Dude was sixth in the Grade 2 San Carlos Stakes here in March and second to San Onofre in the Grade 3 Los Angeles Stakes at Los Alamitos on April 16.

So Sweetitiz captures Mizdirection

So Sweetitiz won her stakes debut in Saturday’s $80,035 Mizdirection Stakes for fillies and mares on the hillside turf course.

Ridden by Mike Smith, So Sweetitiz took the lead shortly after the start and kept her advantage throughout, holding off a late threat from Miss Double d’Oro, a 2-1 shot. Swift Lady, the 9-5 favorite, finished third in the field of eight.

So Sweetitiz ($17) ran about 6 1/2 furlongs on turf in 1:13.70.

“She saved her best for the big day,” trainer Marty Jones said.

Owned by breeder Pamela Ziebarth, So Sweetitiz has won 3 of 7 starts and earned $132,090 By Grand Slam, the 4-year-old So Sweetitiz has won consecutive races on turf, having won an optional claimer on the hillside turf course on April 3.


John More than 1 year ago
Not a good day for racing , two fatal breakdowns at Pimlico on their biggest day and then losing a warrior like San Onofre.  Im sure Headley was on top of things, she is a very good trainer and cares about her animals . Its just racing, its the worst part of this game , I hate it ! If I see a break down, I usually leave the track as its so sad seeing such beautiful creatures getting hurt .
Its another day, lets move on and just hope for better outcomes !
God Bless San Onofre .........................RIP good buddy !
cg4parts More than 1 year ago
Something didn't look right in San Onofre's PP's. (May God rest his soul.)  
  And I mean  REALLY not right!!
  Almost 7 years old,  and 13 races? And two (2)  year long layoffs? 
I'll bet they  weren't for ear-aches.
First 7 races , San Onofre ran either  First or Second. Then a layoff. Then 3  more excellent  races, ( to Masochistic AND Salutos Amigos!!) Then the second  1 -year sabbatical.  Then a dull 4th,  then the tell-tale dead-last....  Then the miraculous win!! He's back!!! ( but so are the stress-fractures) 

Ms. Headley:
You ran a lame horse today  ( and you knew it). 'Onofre wouldn't even lift his feet. .  He  just dragged them along.... from saddling area, all the way to track....

bigdomvegas More than 1 year ago
If you knew Karen and her father, you would never suggest she ran a lame horse.  Perhaps San Onofre had injuries along the way, which is evident by the layoff lines.  But Onofre came back in good order and ran GREAT, which means he was cared for tremendously. Wouldnt you agree?
Kyri Freeman More than 1 year ago

It seems to me that there was a necropsy study done recently that showed that injuries such as San Onofre's aren't generally the result of a "bad step" but a pre-existing lesion that the trainer, etc. have no way of knowing about as the horse does not appear to be lame.

What I haven't heard is whether this can be detected by an x-ray, nuclear scan, etc.

If it can be detected, do we need to require that every horse has a 'clean' scan within a given amount of time from racing? Would that help?

If there's anything to be done to prevent this kind of tragedy, I hope it will be done. I'd also like to see a blanket nationwide rule that horses that break through the gate before the start (i.e. Pramedya) are automatically scratched. They're usually not going to run well anyway. I have no way of knowing if Pramedya was injured as a consequence of breaking through the gate, but being scratched would at least have given some time for lameness to show up and examinations to be done.

Jimmy Metzger More than 1 year ago
Great suggestions