Lady of Shamrock, Chips All In win at Santa Anita
ARCADIA, Calif. -- Lady of Shamrock took up sharply in deep stretch and finished second in the $150,000 Santa Barbara Handicap at Santa Anita on Saturday, beaten 1½ lengths by long-shot Viva Carina, but was subsequently placed first after a stewards' inquiry.
Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Lady of Shamrock had dead aim on pacesetter Viva Carina and Victor Espinoza, but had to take up sharply with a sixteenth of a mile left, costing her a chance at victory.
"I don't think he (Espinoza) knew I was there," Bejarano said. "I tried to come running but I also wasn't screaming and didn't let him know. He was surprised, it wasn't his fault. When I saw the opportunity on the rail in the stretch and I saw a lot of room, I just kept running but unfortunately when Victor used the right-hand stick, his horse kept coming in and completely crossed my lane."
Lady of Shamock was the 1-5 favorite in the 1 1/4-mile turf race for older fillies and mares. Viva Carina hit the finish in 2:00.91. Lady of Shamrock paid $2.60, $2.20 and $2.10.
Viva Carina returned $4.20 and $2.80 at 8-1 odds.
Espinoza disagreed with the ruling by stewards Scott Chaney, Kim Sawyer and Tom Ward.
"I tightened up a little bit but I don't think that caused any change of place in (Bejarano's) horse," he said. "In my opinion, I win the race. There was no way he was going to beat me. The stewards get paid to make these decisions, so I cannot tell them what to do or predict what they will do."
Caelis was another 2½ lengths back in third and paid $3.40 to show.
The victory, worth $90,000, increased Lady of Shamrock's career earnings to $825,400, with seven wins in 13 starts.
In the $100,000 San Simeon Stakes, Chips All In ran down even-money favorite Obviously in deep stretch to win by a half-length under Tyler Baze.
Chips All In covered 6½ furlongs in 1:11.28 for trainer Jeff Mullins.
Obviously, who hadn't run since finishing third in the Breeders' Cup Mile on Nov. 3, returned $2.80 and $2.10.
Chosen Miracle was another 1 1/4 lengths back in third and paid $2.80 to show.
The victory, worth $60,000, increased Chips All In's career earnings to $327,955, with six wins in 13 starts.
Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press
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