03/22/2015 7:21PM

Wild in the Saddle wins first stakes in Dream of Summer

Benoit Photo
Wild in the Saddle wins the Dream of Summer Stakes by 6 1/4 lengths Sunday at Santa Anita Park.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Wild in the Saddle, the former $5,000 claimer, won her first stakes in her 34th career start in Sunday’s $98,000 Dream of Summer Stakes for California-bred fillies and mares at Santa Anita.

Wild in the Saddle ($3.40) had an ideal trip to win the one-mile dirt race. Jockey Rafael Bejarano had Wild in the Saddle behind the pacesetter Sudden Sunday for the first-half-mile, took the lead with a quarter-mile remaining, and pulled away to win by a convincing 6 1/4 lengths.

Wild in the Saddle was timed in 1:36.73. A 6-year-old mare by Silic, Wild in the Saddle was expected to take the lead, a strategy Bejarano changed in the race, according to David Meah, assistant to trainer Richard Baltas.

“We were going to go, and when that other horse took the lead, it was perfect to be second,” Meah said.

Melanistic finished second, giving Baltas’s stable a sweep of the first two positions. Grazenette was third, followed by Sudden Sunday. The race had only four runners after the scratches Sunday morning of Anniversary Kitty and Sweet Marini.

Baltas missed Sunday’s race. He is in Dubai preparing Big Macher for the $2 million Golden Shaheen at Meydan Racecourse.

Wild in the Saddle races for Nadine Anderson and Cheyenne Ortiz and has eight career wins and earnings of $289,318. She beat maidens in a $30,000 claimer at Santa Anita in her eighth career start in March 2012, and later that year, she won a $5,000 claimer at 4 1/2 furlongs at Los Alamitos.

Wild in the Saddle was sent to Baltas’s stable last year and has won 3 of 6 starts under his direction. She was third in the Orange County Stakes at six furlongs at Los Alamitos last September.

Meah said the filly’s mental approach has changed in the last year.

“She’s relaxed in her training, and that’s a big help,” Meah said.

Marci de la Torre More than 1 year ago
Nadine and Cheyenna brought Wild back from several debilitating foot and leg injuries before she showed the heart and stamina that would carry her so far. Once Richard Baltas had her under his tutelage, Wild blossomed. It takes time to heal and it takes patience to allow that to take place. Both were there. I am so proud of Wild in the Saddle and "her" team!
Brenda Flinn More than 1 year ago
Mr. Bejarano gave Wild in the Saddle the educational ride of her life. Look forward to seeing her win in the future because of it.
Mark Oleary More than 1 year ago
I love seeing former claimers move up the class ladder and then even win a stakes. $5,000 was her claiming price at one time and according to how I read the article, no one reached in. Very fortunate to say the least. It is a testament to good training where something is noticed, a change is made, and the results validate that diligence. Be it a change of equipment ie. blinkers, different bits, shadow roll, figure eight, etc. or change in training technique such as less breezing, longer slower gallops, more gate work, or the classic: getting into their head. This would include finding what makes her tick, what makes her mad, what makes her happy, all of that. A kinder more softer spoken groom, a goat companion, the list is endless, but to me that's one of the main things I love about horseracing. It's legends like the late Allen Jerkens that found these little secrets and exploited them with great success.And there are dozens, hundreds of trainers, jockeys, and grooms that pick up on these nuances and are able to translate that knowledge into victory.