Gryder Hits The Big ’50’ With Santa Anita Victory Aboard Catch The Eye

Dismissed at 9-1, Amerman Racing’s homebred Catch the Eye relished the added distance of Friday’s $51,000 Santa Anita allowance feature as she rallied to win by a widening 2 ¾ lengths at the Arcadia, Calif., track, providing veteran jockey Aaron Gryder with a nice win on his 50th birthday.  Trained by David Hofmans, the 4-year-old daughter of Quality Road got a mile and one eighth on turf in 1:49.19.

A close fourth in a one-mile turf allowance here on May 15, Catch the Eye sat a close fifth, about 2 ½ lengths off the lead heading into the clubhouse turn and was under a snug hold to the far turn.  Fourth behind a three-horse spread turning for home, Gryder pointed his mount to the fourth path and Catch the Eye won with consummate ease as 3-5 favorite Kookie Gal never seriously threatened.

“That’s all she needs, that’s her thing,” said Hofmans in regard to the mile and one eighth on turf.  “She’s got the pedigree to run all day.  I trained her dam and she was all distance.  Yes, I think she can run in graded stakes, no problem, as long as we’ve got enough ground.”

A nose maiden special weight winner under the same conditions two starts back on Feb. 22, Catch the Eye was nonetheless off at a generous 9-1 in a field of six fillies and mares and paid $20.40, $7.40 and $5.00.

“She was in the bridle the whole way,” said Gryder.  “She definitely stepped forward, but I think more than anything, it was the mile and one eighth that helped her. Last time she really ran good, moved up to second turning for home, (but) she just can’t quicken.  She’s got a high gallop to her, that she just keeps on that same pace.”

When asked about the possibility of life beginning at 50, the well-accomplished Gryder smiled and responded, “I sure hope so.”

Bred in Kentucky, Catch the Eye is now two for two at a mile and one eighth on turf and is 11-2-2-0.  With today’s winner’s share of $30,600, she increased her earnings to $95,122.

Ridden by Drayden Van Dyke, Muchly was in close attendance while third to the top of the lane, where she took a narrow lead and battled gamely between horses for the place, finishing 1 ¾ lengths in front of Unicorn.  Off as the second choice at 7-2, Muchly paid $5.60 and $3.60.

Stride for stride with the winner to the far turn, Unicorn bested Kookie Gal by a nose and paid $6.20 to show with Abel Cedillo up.

Fractions on the race were 23.28, 48.16, 1:12.66 and 1:37.23.

Racing resumes with an 11-race program on Saturday, with the Grade 1, $400,000 Runhappy Santa Anita Derby highlighting a total of seven stakes.  First post time is at 12:30 p.m.  For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.

The post Gryder Hits The Big ’50’ With Santa Anita Victory Aboard Catch The Eye appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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