Persianlux Survives Inquiry, Wins San Luis Obispo Handicap
February 18, 2001
By Blood-Horse Staff
Persianlux, the longest shot in the race at 27-1, led every step of the way and rolled to a five-length victory Saturday in the grade II, $200,000 San Luis Obispo Handicap at Santa Anita Park.
Ridden by Tyler Baze at 113 pounds, Persianlux ran 1-1/2 miles on a firm turf course in 2:27.70 and paid $57.20, $22.20 and $10.60. It was the first graded stakes victory for Baze, winner of the 2000 Eclipse Award as the nation's outstanding apprentice jockey. The 18-year-old rider became the youngest jockey to win a graded stakes race at Santa Anita since Steve Cauthen, who was also 18, rode J.O. Tobin to victory in the 1978 Malibu Stakes.
The stewards' conducted an inquiry into the race and examined an incident on the last turn. They determined that Persianlux had sufficient clearance when he dropped slightly to the inside, a move that caused the rider of Falcon Flight, Eddie Delahoussaye, to steady his mount.
Devon Deputy, Chris McCarron riding at 114 pounds, rallied from eighth place to finish second and paid $10.40 and $7.40. It was one length back to Falcon Flight, Delahoussaye aboard at 116 pounds, and a $5.20 show payoff.
Northern Quest, the 8-to-5 favorite, finished fourth, and was followed by Floriselli, Keemoon, Piranesi, Tanaasa, Here Comes Big C and Sayarshan.
Persianlux, who ran in a $50,000 claiming race in November, has a 6-2-1 mark from 17 starts. The $120,000 winner's share increased his earnings to $270,796 for trainer Wally Dollase and owners Horizon Stable, Randy Lowe and Gary Margolis.
Hustled to the lead by Baze, Persianlux set fractions of :25.43, :49.55, 1:14.04 and 1:39.53. The 5-year-old English-bred gelding straightened into the stretch with a four-length advantage and cruised home unchallenged.
"They gave me the lead, so I took it," Baze said. "I had them slowed down to pretty much of a gallop, and he kicked on wonderfully for me."
Dollase said Persianlux will be pointed to the $250,000 San Luis Rey Handicap on March 11.