ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) –– Fire With Fire led all the way in winning the $200,000 San Luis Rey Stakes by a half-length at Santa Anita on Saturday.
Ridden by Tyler Baze, Fire With Fire ran 1 1/2 miles on the turf in 2:25.03 and paid $22.80, $8.80 and $7.40 at 10-1 odds.
“He was really game,” Baze said. “I didn’t try to slow him down, didn’t try to make him speed up, just let him have a good time. He just proved that’s what was going to work with him.”
With a half-mile to go, Victor Espinoza eased 4-5 favorite Vagabond Shoes out of the race that included five older horses. Espinoza said Niagara Falls bumped Vagabond Shoes coming out of the gate.
“I could feel his whole body go sideways and he had a different energy after that,” Espinoza said. “I didn’t want to push him; I wanted to take my time. Right when I went to make a move, that’s when I heard something. I pulled him up as soon as I could and I hope he’s OK.”
Lucayan returned $4.20 and $4, while Temeraine was another nose back in third and paid $4.80 to show. Neil Drysdale trained the 1-2 finishers in the race and won it for the sixth time.
The victory, worth $120,000, increased Fire With Fire’s career earnings to $515,354, with six wins in 30 starts.