Red Baron’s Barn’s Itsinthepost was able to hold off the late charge of Syntax in Saturday’s G2 San Luis Rey Stakes, capturing his first black-type victory by about three-quarters of a length on the wire. The 5-year-old son of American Post, ridden by Tyler Baze, covered 1 1/2 miles on Santa Anita’s firm turf in 2:25.43 for trainer Jeff Mullins, while the heavy favorite Ashleyluvssugar faded to third.
As expected, Ashleyluvssugar jumped well from the starting gate part-way up the hill to take the lead in the early part of the race. He set conservative fractions early on, pressed just a bit by Papacoolpapacool through a quarter in 25.34 seconds and a half in 48.80. After crossing under the wire for the first time, Ashleyluvssugar moved away from the field by a couple lengths, and Baze signaled Itsinthepost to go with the leader from his spot in third. Moving into second, Itsinthepost continued to keep pressure on Ashleyluvssugar through fractions of 1:13.13 and 1:36.97, while the pair moved some four lengths away from the rest of the very strung out field.
Rounding the far turn, Itsinthepost began to move up alongside the leader and took over just before turning for home. Ashleyluvssugar fought on for a moment, but resigned himself to the place as Itsinthepost powered away down the stretch. Syntax came from mid-pack with a strong late run, but was only able to close the gap on the leader the three-quarters of a length at the wire. Ashleyluvssugar finished third, and Liam the Charmer was fourth.
Bred in France by Julien Leaunes, Itsinthepost began his career slowly as a juvenile in Europe, finally breaking his maiden in his fifth start. The colt was purchased and brought to the United States for the 2015 season, but didn’t find a measure of consistency until the start of his 4-year-old year. Only stepped up into graded company in 2017, Itsinthepost recorded his first black-type win in the San Luis Rey, but also finished second in both the San Gabriel and San Marcos Stakes. Overall, the gelding has won four of his 24 starts, with six seconds and five thirds, for earnings of over $ 360,000.
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