SHAKOPEE, MN – Giant Payday’s last stakes attempt before the $200,000 Mystic Lake Derby was a subpar performance in the Grade 3 Arlington Classic and jockey Chris Landeros learned a lot from the attempt.
“It was disappointing,” said Landeros, “but it was a blessing. It was a learning experience. I had to learn that you can’t hustle him along. I let him settle in make his run. I had to give him a shot.”
Giant Payday settled at the back of the field through the first half of the race, letting Line Judge and Mongolian Greywolf do the heavy lifting up front. At the half mile Giant Payday began to unwind and make up ground.
“The only concern I had,” said Landeros, “was the length of the stretch. I wasn’t sure if it was going to be long enough to get there.”
Eventual second place finished My Bariley ($4.80) struck to the lead at the top of the lane but Landeros swung Giant Payday to the center of the track where he collared and powered by My Bariley to win by a length, covering the mile in 1:40.29 over the yielding turf course. Sakonnet ($4.00) was third.
“To win the biggest race here in front of family and friends,” said winning owner Robert Lothenbach of Wayzata, “It’s just terrific.”
Both supporting stakes on the card, the $50,000 Brooks Fields and Minnesota HBPA Distaff, were taken off the turf and were both contested at a mile on the main track listed as good.
In the Brooks Fields, trainer Robertino Diodoro had a pair of horses with polar opposite running styles. In Patriots Rule he had a confirmed closer while in Way Striking wanted to be up front.
“I told one to go ahead and go and the other to sit back and let things go,” beamed the winning trainer after finishing 1-2 in the race.
Patriots Rule, under Andrew Ramgeet, covered the mile in 1:36.17 and paid $13.40 after catching his stablemate late to win by 1/2 length. Way Striking paid $3.20 and Malibu Pro returned $4.60 to show.
Beach Flower ($24.80), ignored by the public at 11-1, steadily ground away down the lane to take the $50,000 Minnesota HBPA Distaff under popular jock Martin Escobar.
“Mac told me ‘do whatever you think best’,” said Escobar.
“He’s worked hard for me all the time I’ve known him,” said winning trainer Mac Robertson. “I’m happy for him.”
“I thought she could get there turning for home,” said Escobar. “She seemed like she had enough left to win at the top of the stretch.”
She got there by a half length, stopping the clock at 1:40.29. Seeking Paradise ($6.60) was second and long shot Kera Kera ($13.00) was third.