ARCADIA, Calif. - Less than five months after being claimed for $12,500, Special Matter won the Grade 3 Carleton F. Burke Handicap on Sunday at Santa Anita. Racing for owners John Elder, Janice and Loretta McClintock, and trainer Rafael Becerra, Special Matter sprang a $21.20 upset in the mile and one-half turf race which he won by a length and three-quarters over pacesetter Alyzig. Dance Dreamer finished a head back in third; 4-5 favorite Nazirali was a nose farther back in fourth. Rob's Spirit finished last of five.
Tyler Baze rode Special Matter, who benefited from the slow pace. He settled alone in second position while Alyzig set walking fractions of :48.92 for the opening half-mile, 1:14.91 for three-quarters, and 1:41.15 for a mile. Special Matter engaged Alyzig on the far turn, surged to the front into the lane, and cruised. Alyzig held second, while the late rallies of Dance Dreamer and Nazirali were rendered ineffective due to the slow pace.
Special Matter was timed in 2:28.47 for his fourth win from 16 starts. The 4-year-old gelding by River Special is 3 for 6 since being claimed.