Ramon Vazquez guides One More Bid, inside, to victory over Balnikhov in the G2 Mathis Mile
The longest shot in in a field of six sophomores at 16-1, the Ryan Hanson-trained One More Bid was tough as nails when it counted Monday, as he prevailed by a nose in Santa Anita’s Classic Meet lid lifter, the $200,000 Santa Anita Mathis Mile (G2).
Ridden by Ramon Vazquez, One More Bid held off 8-5 favorite Balnikhov on the money while getting the mile on turf in 1:33.67.
A comfortable second behind pacesetter and eventual third place finisher Sumter to the top of the lane, One More Bid, in a protracted drive, edged by Sumter a sixteenth of a mile out and then held Balnikhov at bay to his outside late.
A one mile turf maiden special weight winner in his eighth start on Nov. 19 at Del Mar, One More Bid, who provided Hanson and his wife, Michelle Yu of XBTV with their first Grade 2 victory, was ridden for the fifth consecutive time by Vazquez and paid $35.
A 3-year-old gelding by California Chrome out of the Scat Daddy mare Never Grow Old, One More Bid is owned by California Racing Partners, Ciaglia Racing LLC and Ryan Hanson. He was bred in Kentucky by Tolo Racing and sold to Dohman for $55,000 at the 2021 Fasig-Tipton Santa Anita Two-Year-Olds in Training sale, where Pike Racing consigned.
With Mathis Mile winner’s share of $120,000, One More Bid hiked his earnings to $234,640 from an overall mark of 2-4-1 from nine starts.
Irish-bred Balnikhov, who was last, about seven off the lead leaving the half mile pole, saved ground at the rail to the quarter pole under Tyler Gaffalione, angled three-deep and was second best in a thrilling finish.
Ridden by Mike Smith, Sumter appeared to be well within himself through splits of :23.31, :46.50, 1:10.16, and 1:21.88 but tired late while finishing 1 ¼ lengths behind Balnikhov.
SANTA ANITA MATHIS MILE (G2) QUOTES
RAMON VAZQUEZ, ONE MORE BID, WINNER: “I felt like I had a lot of horse on the backside. I was waiting for the moment. This horse continues to get better and better. This horse really dug in in the stretch. I don’t look at the odds on the board (16-1). This horse has been really working good and doing good. I never pay attention to odds; I ride my horse. I feel amazing on Opening Day. I ride the first race winner and it’s a Grade 2. I’m so grateful for the opportunity.”
RYAN HANSON, ONE MORE BID, WINNER: “It feels really good, I just want to thank all my crew, everyone that helps out, the grooms, the hot walkers, Larry and Amanda for picking out a good horse. A special thank you to Francisco and Emily (Ellingwood) who get on him and work really hard. Thank you! Ramon Vazquez has fit this horse really well, so thank you to everyone involved.”
MATT DOHMAN, CALIFORNIA RACING PARTNERS, ONE MORE BID, WINNER, “I’m over the moon right now, I mean the horse has been training really well but I thought he could win. I was a little perplexed that he went off as such long odds, but he ran really well.”
JOE CIAGLIA, CALIFORNIA RACING PARTNERS, ONE MORE BID, WINNER: “I’m very happy for my partners. Ryan is a partner and the trainer I’m very happy for them. The racing is amazing, this is a great day. All the families are out here with their kids enjoying the day. It was all due to Ryan’s patience, he did a great job putting this horse on the turf and he brought it home for us. I’m so proud of Ryan.”
MICHELLE YU, WIFE OF RYAN HANSON, ONE MORE BID, WINNER: “I literally fell off my chair. I was screaming so hard, and I could not believe it. I don’t have words, and for me that’s big. This colt’s been such a work in progress. We had to turn him out when he was younger because he was so big and gangly. He’s always wanted to put it together, but he’s just been riddled with his own bad luck. When he threw his head at the break, I thought today is going to be that day again. I can’t believe how much heart he showed here. I am so happy for him.”