Brickyard Ride, Juan Hernandez win Kona Gold Stakes – Daily News

The remarkable Brickyard Ride, who has only one running style, became the first four-time stakes winner at Santa Anita’s winter/spring meet Saturday with a gate-to-wire victory in the $100,000 Grade III Kona Gold Stakes.

Named for the 2000 Breeders’ Cup Sprint champion, the Kona Gold attracted a short field of four, and Brickyard Ride was too speedy for the other three runners, winning by 2 1/4 lengths as the 2-5 favorite under Juan Hernandez while completing the 6 1/2 furlongs in a quick 1:15.07.

“He’s pretty fast,” winning trainer Craig Lewis said. “Juan said he wanted to take it easy on him, but he wouldn’t let him. So you saw the results, and they ran fast. He was geared down, so no telling. He just keeps getting better and better.”

A 5-year-old Cal-bred son of Clubhouse Ride, the winner carved out lightning-quick fractions of 21.95, 44.10 and 1:08:45 en route to his 12th victory in 22 starts, padding his career bankroll to $740,977. He’s won nine of 12 at Santa Anita.

Lewis said the long-range plan for Brickyard Ride is the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland in November. The horse’s connections have options and they’re still considering the Sprint, Turf Sprint and Mile.

“A lot of options,” Lewis said. “We just hope he stays as good as he is now.”

Tigre Di Slugo, an 11-1 longshot, finished second, 3 1/4 lengths in front of Strike That.

Santa Margarita Stakes

Blue Stripe, a 6-1 shot ridden by Tyler Baze and trained by Marcelo Polanco, rallied in the stretch to beat even-money favorite Miss Bigly in the $200,000 Grade II race for older fillies and mares.

Final time for the 1 1/8 miles was 1:50.52.

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