Joel Rosario guides Bettys Bambino to the wire in the San Simeon Dec. 26, 2016
Streaking Bettys Bambino guns for his sixth straight victory and his fourth straight stakes win when the son of Unusual Heat runs in next Saturday’s $ 100,000 Sensational Star Stakes for California-bred or sired horses.
The seven-year-old gelding, with seven wins in an abbreviated career of 11 races, holds the remarkable record of having started only once in each of the past two years, each a stakes victory. In his last three races, on Dec. 28, 2014, Feb. 21, 2015 and Dec. 26, 2016, he won the Grade III Daytona Stakes, the Sensational Star Stakes and the Grade III San Simeon Stakes, all over Santa Anita’s unique downhill turf course at about 6 ½ furlongs.
This year’s edition of the Sensational Star, part of the popular and lucrative Golden State Series, also will be decided at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf.
“He can just flat out run,” trainer Peter Eurton said succinctly in explaining the reason for the gelding’s success.
Joel Rosario rode Bettys Bambino last out, but Eurton has Corey Nakatani booked for the Sensational Star. “He’s ridden him twice before (two thirds at Del Mar in 2014) and he’s worked him several times,” the trainer pointed out.
Bettys Bambino has overcome relatively minor ailments that limited him to only 11 starts in a span of four years, among them tibia and joint issues.
But with seven wins and three thirds, he has earned $ 378,036 for owners Sharon Alesia, Michael Mellen (Brand Jam Stable) and Joseph Ciaglia.
Also ticketed for the Sensational Star are Ambitious Brew with Mike Smith and Forest Chatter under Flavien Prat.
Eurton, with seven wins from 35 starts at the Winter Meet, has other upcoming stakes in view for his stable, which has earned $ 388,879 through Saturday’s races.
Kobe’s Back is ticketed for the Grade I Triple Bend Stakes on March 11; Ashleyluvssugar for the Grade II San Luis Rey Stakes at 1 ½ miles on turf March 25; and Eclipse Award champion two-year-old female Champagne Room for the $ 75,000 China Doll Stakes at a mile on turf March 11.
“We want to give her a taste of grass,” Eurton said of Champagne Room, who captured the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita Nov. 4 going a mile and a sixteenth on dirt, enough to sway any wavering Eclipse Award voters to come on board for divisional honors.
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