Yakteen Stable’s Cal-Bred ‘Queen,’ Mucho Unusual, Takes Robert J. Frankel Stakes

Well beaten in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf on Nov. 7, George Krikorian’s homebred Mucho Unusual seemed to relish a return home to Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif., as she rallied under Eastern-based John Velazquez to take Sunday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Robert J. Frankel Stakes by three-quarters of a length.  Trained by Tim Yakteen, the California-bred daughter of Mucho Macho Man got a mile and one eighth on turf in 1:46.94.

Comfortably in-hand while second, about two lengths off of pacesetting She’s Our Charm around the first turn, Mucho Unusual inched up outside a three-horse spread that included favored Miss Teheran and She’s Our Charm heading to the three furlong pole and held sway late under a hand ride from Velazquez, who collected his third win on the day.

“She broke good and it looked like the one speed filly (She’s Our Charm) would go and she did,” said Velazquez. “Down the backside, Joel (Rosario, aboard favored Miss Teheran) moved a little early and I also wanted to make sure I put a little pressure on the two (She’s Our Charm) because she had been running easily.  Turning for home, I asked her and she finished up great.”

A front-running winner of the G1 Rodeo Drive Stakes here two starts back on Sept. 26, Mucho Unusual was the narrow second choice at 5-2 in a field of eight fillies and mares and paid $7.80, $4.40 and $3.20.

“We had an outside draw and that was a little bit of a concern,” said Yakteen.  “There was one lone speed in the race.  She is such a dream to train, so easy, so straightforward, she makes my job easy.  She’s my queen.  We don’t have a big stable but she’s our queen.”

Out of Krikorian’s Unusual Heat mare Not Unusual, Mucho Unusual, who turns 5 on Friday, is now a three-time graded stakes winner.  With an overall mark of 18-6-3-4, she picked up $60,000 for the win, increasing her earnings to $762,715.

Owned in-part by former Santa Anita general manager, Ron Charles, English-bred Never Be Enough flew late for second money, prevailing by a nose over She’s Our Charm.  Ridden by Tiago Pereira, Never Be Enough was off at 32-1 and paid $18.40 and $10.40.

In a big effort, Ron McAnally’s She’s Our Charm fought bravely late and finished three quarters of a length better than Miss Teheran.  Off at 4-1 with Juan Hernandez, She’s Our Charm paid $4.00 to show.

Trained by Chad Brown, Irish-bred Miss Teheran shipped in from South Florida seeking her first stakes victory but her chances were seriously comprised when she hesitated leaving the gate and was subsequently shuffled back while in tight quarters.  Thereafter, she appeared a bit keen with Rosario and when the rail opened up a half mile out, he asked her to engage the front runners in what proved a failed strategy as the actual 5-2 favorite.

Fractions on the race were 23.72, 47.90, 1:11.70 and 1:35.02.

Named in honor of the Hall of Fame trainer who passed away at age 68 in 2009, Bobby Frankel was a five-time leading Winter/Spring Meet trainer at Santa Anita and he remains the track’s all-time leader by races won with 917 and is third on the all-time stakes-won list with 146.  Frankel won the race’s precursor, the San Gorgonio Stakes, a record seven times.

Live racing resumes at Santa Anita on Thursday with first post time for a nine-race card at 12:30 p.m.

The post Yakteen Stable’s Cal-Bred ‘Queen,’ Mucho Unusual, Takes Robert J. Frankel Stakes appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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