Heywoods Beach, inside, guided by Ramon Vazquez, outfoots Win the Day in the G3 Tokyo City Cup
Although he’s by a champion sprinter, long-fused Heywoods Beach prefers marathon distances, evidenced by his convincing neck victory in Sunday’s $100,000 Tokyo City Cup (G3) going 1 ½ miles on Santa Anita main track.
Trained by John Sadler and ridden to perfection by Ramon Vazquez, Heywoods Beach got the trip in 2:31.98.
With a backstretch start, Heywoods Beach was a joint third about 1 ½ lengths off pacesetter Storm the Court under the wire the first time and in the run to the far turn. Three furlongs from home, Vazquez slipped through at the rail as Storm the Court drifted out a bit, was on terms with favored Tizamagician turning for home and gradually inched clear through the lane while holding off a late bid from longshot Win the Day.
Owned by Hronis Racing LLC, Heywoods Beach, who although well beaten on grass in the Del Mar Handicap (G3) Sept. 3, defeated Tizamagician in winning the Cougar II Stakes (G3) at 1 1/2 miles on dirt two starts back on July 24.
The second choice Sunday at 7-2 in a field of seven 3-year-olds and up, Heywoods Beach paid $9.
A 5-year-old horse by 2004 champion sprinter Speightstown, out of the Catienus mare Unfold the Rose, Heywoods Beach got his second graded stakes win and his fifth win from 20 overall starts while getting his second victory from three tries at 1 1/2 miles.
With the winner’s share of $60,000, Heywoods Beach ran his earnings to $349,751.
Last after the first half mile, Win the Day finished well under Umberto Rispoli, 1 ½ lengths in front of third-place finisher and4-5 favorite Tizamagician under Mike Smith.
Storm the Court, who set an early tempo of :23.37, :48.68, 1:13.40, and 1:39.32 through one mile, finished fifth in the seven-horse field.
RAMON VAZQUEZ, HEYWOODS BEACH, WINNER: “I decided that I was going to go out there and win my second stakes of the day. I rode good horses today. I know my horse, (Heywoods Beach) is a good horse and likes the distance, and he had enough energy through the last quarter. I had a great trip with him, and we found the hole in the race–it was easy.”
JOHN SADLER, HEYWOODS BEACH, WINNER: “He’s a good marathon horse. He’s run well, he’s won here at a mile and a quarter in the past and won twice now at a mile and a half. He’s a very good marathon horse.
“I noticed last year (Ramon) won quite a few of these races on (a horse named) Lone Rock, so I think he has a fairly good touch at a mile and a half on dirt. He rode (Heywoods Beach) at Del Mar and rode him well. Last time we really didn’t get a good trip on the grass, but this is more his thing.”
KOSTA HRONIS, HEYWOODS BEACH, WINNER: “Ramon (Vazquez) rode him perfectly. We knew that those would be the fractions for the race, and we knew he liked the distance. It was a repeat performance of the Cougar at Del Mar. We are definitely thinking of the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) and the (Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance [G2] [formerly known as the Marathon Stakes] Nov. 4). It’s a taxing route, but John (Sadler) is giving it every consideration if he comes out of this race fine. We will wait and see.”