Atta Boy Roy wins at Santa Anita, becomes leading active Washington-bred | Emerald Downs
October 24, 2011 · 10:43 AM
Atta Boy Roy would not be denied Friday at Santa Anita Park in
The 6-year-old Washington-bred held off Matto Mondo in a stretch-long duel to score a nose victory in a $55,000 allowance race on dirt. With Daniel Vergara riding at 118 lbs., Atta Boy Roy ran one mile in 1:35.09 on a fast track and paid $8.80 as the third betting choice.
The $33,000 first prize moved Atta Boy Roy past Wasserman into first-place among active Washington-breds with $579,580 in earnings. A ridgling by Tribunal out of Irish Toast, Atta Boy Roy has a 13-7-1 record from 30 starts lifetime.
It also was the first Santa Anita victory for trainer Valorie Lund and owner Roy Schaefer of Port Orchard, and the first route win in five tries for Atta Boy Roy.
"I'm exhausted, probably more than the horse," said Lund after cheering the elongated stretch run. "I thought he would run well. We've changed his training program to go long."
Atta Boy Roy led by five lengths after a half-mile in :44.98, taxing fractions for a leader in a two-turn. Total Bull, the 9-to-10 favorite trained by Bob Baffert, faltered on the last turn, however, setting the stage for a head-and-head battle between Atta Boy Roy and Matto Mondo, the latter a 7-year-old Chilean-bred that finished third in the 2009 Santa Anita Handicap.
Atta Boy Roy maintained a short lead into the stretch, running six furlongs in 1:09.24, but it appeared Matto Mondo might be traveling better of the two. As is his wont, Atta Boy Roy drifted out through the stretch and didn't switch leads until very late in the race. But he stayed in front; the official margin a scant nose. Incredibly, it was 25-¼ lengths back to third-place finisher Shediak.
The stewards held an inquiry to examine the stretch run, but determined Atta Boy Roy didn't impede Matto Mondo enough to merit a disqualification.
Afterwards, Lund dismissed any talk of sending Atta Boy Roy to the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile on Nov. 5 at Churchill Downs.
"No, we really aren't thinking about (the Breeders' Cup)," she said. "For one thing, the race is way too soon.
"Now that we've finally got him up to a mile, we'll probably come back to Santa Anita this winter."
Atta Boy Roy was voted Emerald Downs' Top Sprinter in 2009 when he captured two stakes and set a track and state record (since tied by Noosa Beach) of 1:07 for six furlongs. He finished fifth in the 2009 Longacres Mile won by Assessment.
Leading active Washington-breds:
1. Atta Boy Roy, $579,580
2. Wasserman, $564,808
3. Noosa Beach, $520,722
All-Time Leading Washington-breds:
1. Saratoga Passage, $800,212
2. Military Hawk, $686,128
3. Peterhof's Patea, $623,367
4. Ring's A Chime, $606,315
5. Atta Boy Roy, $579,580