Sports

Aotearoa Wins Zuma Beach Stakes

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A horse and rider return from the track during the morning workout session in preparation for the Breeders' Cup race at Santa Anita Park on October 22, 2008 in Arcadia, California (credit: Harry How/Getty Images)

A horse and rider return from the track during the morning workout session in preparation for the Breeders’ Cup race at Santa Anita Park on October 22, 2008 in Arcadia, California (credit: Harry How/Getty Images)

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ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) — Aotearoa rallied from last to beat 2-5 favorite Diamond Bachelor by three-quarters of a length in the $100,000 Zuma Beach Stakes for 2-year-olds at Santa Anita on Sunday.

With jockey Corey Nakatani subbing for Garrett Gomez, 13-1 shot Aotearoa ran a mile on the turf in 1:34.42 and paid $28.60, $7.60 and $4.60. Gomez missed his return flight from Keeneland, causing him to miss all six of his scheduled mounts.

“I rode his daddy (Grade 1 turf winner Good Journey) and I knew he’d love the grass,” Nakatani said. “On paper, there was a lot of speed in the race, I thought, top to bottom. My horse broke on the lead, but I was able to ease him back, no problem, and he ran a big race.”

Diamond Bachelor returned $2.40 and $2.10, while Got Shades was another 1 3/4 lengths back in third and paid $3.20 to show.

The victory, worth $60,000, increased Aotearoa’s career earnings to $114,000. It was his first start on the turf.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published,\ broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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