Aligato steps up for Glatt in unusual heat peat classic – Horse Racing News

Aligato and jockey Flavien Prat win the $200,000 Unusual Heat Turf Classic, Saturday, January 15, 2022 in Santa Anita Park, Arcadia CA.© BENOIT PHOTO



In his first betting assignment and first time around two innings, the Mark Glatt-conditioned Aligato made four deep turns home and unleashed an impressive turn of his foot at Saturday’s $200,000 Unusual Heat Turf Classic presented by City National Bank in Santa Anita, to win. distance by 1 lengths. Under Flavien Prat, the 5-year-old gelding from Kitten’s Joy achieved a mile and an eighth on grass in 1:48.29.

Unhurried while fifth, about six lengths from dueling leaders Whooping Jay and Ferrariano in a field of seven exiting the half-milestone, Aligato began closing three furlongs from home and had the leaders measure halfway through the far corner.

“We always thought he would improve if we had the chance to continue with him,” said Glatt. “It wasn’t the most ideal conditions today, but I think that just shows how good a horse he is. He’s just a really good horse, especially for a Cal-bred horse. He is a natural horse with two turns, which helps if you stretch one.

“We trained him a bit for it. We had a different plan to come here to the Unusual Heat Turf Classic, but unfortunately the rain rejected that plan, so I called Double L (owners) and told them we could sort it of training or six furlongs two weeks ago. So I said, ‘Well, at least it will be good training.’ I am very happy for the owners, they have given me a good training and we will see that next time.”

Owned by Double L Racing and bred in California by Bob Liewald and Joe Mishak, Aligato, who is out of the Rock Hard Ten mare Pretty Hard, closed a lot of ground to finish second, punched a nose into a six furlong turf on Jan. 1 . and was eliminated as second pick at 3-1, yielding $8.40, $4.80 and $3.40.

“He broke well, but I expected him to show a little more speed in the beginning, which he didn’t,” said Prat, who was on board for the first time today. “Later I traveled well and when I got him out, he kicked home well. I thought it was an impressive race because it’s always difficult to go from six furlongs to a mile and an eighth. It was a great race.”

Never worse than third in four previous turf sprints, Aligato improved his overall score to 5-2-1-2 and with the winner’s share of $110,000 increased his winnings to $177,440.

Mindful of the early pace, as he entered the first corner in third near the rail, Golden Gate Fields-based Camino Del Paraiso bravely rallied for second money and finished a nosedive to Ferrariano. At 8-1 with Ricky Gonzalez, Camino Del Paraiso paid $6.80 and $4.40.

Ridden by Abel Cedillo, Ferrariano was also knocked out 8-1, paying $5.00 to show while finishing 2 lengths better than Luvluv.

Whooping Jay, the 2-1 favorite with Joe Bravo, tired through the ride to finish last with 5 ¼ lengths.

The fractions in the race were 23.81, 48.05, 1:12.32 and 1:36.64.

The Turf Classic, classified as race six, was the second of five entries for California-bred or sired horses on a 10-race Cal Cup day program.

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