Arcadia, CA (Oct. 1, 2021) – Celebrated by racing fans nationwide, racing returned to Santa Anita’s Camino Real hillside turf course on Friday as California-bred Lieutenant Dan pressed the pace and took control turning for home en route to a half-length victory in the $200,000 Eddie D Stakes (G2). Ridden by Geovanni Franco, “Dan” got about 6 ½ furlongs down the hill in 1:11.74.
Owned and bred by Nick Alexander, Lieutenant Dan (Grazen) sat a close third early to pacesetter Charmaine’s Mia, who was pressed to her immediate outside by Law Abidin Citizen. Hand-ridden over the dirt crossing at the top of the stretch, Lieutenant Dan cruised to the lead and was never seriously challenged through the lane.
“He’s a pretty fast horse and he’s very versatile,” said Franco. “He broke sharp like he always does and put me in a nice spot where if they were going too slow, I could have gone and if they were going too fast, I could have sat back. All in all, he was the one taking me through the trip. At the end of the race he kept on going. I heard some noises of people coming but he never slowed down or waited for anybody. It was a great feeling to ride the hill again, it is definitely different than any other race or surface. You have a lot of fun out there, especially when you have a horse like this one.”
“It was so unexpected,” said winning owner Alexander. “I think he was the seventh or eighth foal out of the mare (Excusabull), and the first seven did nothing so, we had very low expectations for this horse and he just continues to succeed them. He just loves to win.”
“I love that turf course,” continued Alexander. “We have always excelled on it and Grazen babies just seem to love that distance and that downhill. It is so beautiful.
When asked about a possible start at the Breeders’ Cup, Alexander replied, “He earned the amount to (supplement). It is $100,000. If he comes out of this race in one piece, that’s our next goal.”
Fractions on the race were 21.61, 42.95 and 1:05.66.
The Eddie D is named for legendary retired Hall of Fame jockey Eddie Delahoussaye.
Santa Anita publicity contributed to this story.