Kiss Today Goodbye Surprises San Antonio Foes With Last-To-First Run

On a blissfully sunny opening day in Arcadia, Calif., Kiss Today Goodbye, a 15-1 longshot trained by Eric Kruljac, came rolling from dead last to take Santa Anita’s Grade 2, $200,000 San Antonio Stakes by a half length under Hall of Famer Mike Smith.

Breaking from post position two, Smith had his mount in-hand going into the first turn and he saved every inch of ground at the rail until the top of the stretch, where he angled to the four-path and rallied to out-finish the Richard Baltas-trained Idol late.

Unplaced on turf in both the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby on Sept. 6 and the Twilight Derby at Santa Anita two starts back on Oct. 18, Kiss Today Goodbye exited a solid first condition allowance win over the Del Mar main track on Nov. 14 but was trying graded stakes competition on dirt for the first time today.

Ridden for the first time by Smith, he paid $33.60, $10.60 and $6.60 in a field of six 3-year-olds and up.

“I was impressed with his last race and I wasn’t even riding him.  He ran by me in that last race,” said Smith. “I thank Eric Kruljac for the opportunity of riding him and for his great training job.  The race was shaping up for him with the speed up front and when it came time to run, he took off.  I just guided him around the track.”

Owned by John Sondereker, Kiss Today Goodbye, a 3-year-old Kentucky-bred colt by Cairo Prince out of the Heatseeker mare Savvy Hester, collected his first stakes win while improving his overall mark to 10-3-0-3.  With the winner’s share of $120,000, he increased his earnings to $230,802.

Ridden by Gabriel Saez, Idol was taken off the pace and sat fourth into the first turn, was a joint second inside favored Mucho Gusto heading to the three furlong pole and kept to his task at the rail late while finishing as though he’ll appreciate added distance.

The second choice at 4-1, Idol finished three quarters of a length better than Take the One O One and paid $5.20 and $5.20.

The early pacesetter under Jose Valdivia, Jr., Take the One O One was off at 29-1 and paid $14.40 to show while finishing a length and one quarter in front of 1-2 favorite Mucho Unusual.

Fractions on the race were 23.83, 47.81, 1:11.42 and 1:36.83.

“He was always very immature early on,” Krujak said of Kiss Today Goodbye. “It just took him longer to get to where he is and I think he is really just beginning to mature.

“About four races back he got absolutely sandblasted and was basically eased in the race. I basically told (Mike), ‘he’s better with the kickback but it was a factor that day.’ As you can see when Mike came back, he ate the dirt, the colt has put it all together and Mike gave him an absolutely perfect ride. The pace gods were on our side.

“This was absolutely an owner’s decision. This is a really nice condition race that we are no longer eligible for in about three days. John (Sondereker) uses Thorograph and says his numbers looked great but he thought he would move way forward. John said his sheet numbers were going up and up, and he is a numbers guy. The horse is trained like that but as a trainer I look at the older horses and see what they have already done, I go, ‘Oh my God what are we doing.’ But he was right! It sure set up well, and the two scratches helped.”

The post Kiss Today Goodbye Surprises San Antonio Foes With Last-To-First Run appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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