Favored Wake Up Nick showed a new dimension Sunday at Los Alamitos, rallying from off the pace to win the $103,900 Barretts Juvenile and remain undefeated.
The victory by the 2-year-old son of Cindago gave trainer Doug O’Neill a weekend stakes sweep. He had won the $93,850 Barretts Debutante Saturday with Sharla Rae, who upset heavily-favored Into Oblivion in the race for 2-year-old fillies.
Owned by J. Paul Reddam;s Reddam Racing LLC, Wake Up Nick, who was purchased for $35,000 at the Barretts March sale earlier this year, is 5-for-5 after his latest success with four of those wins coming in stakes.
Out of the Lion Hearted mare Storm Hearted, Wake Up Nick added the Juvenile to a stakes resume that already included the Santa Anita Juvenile as well as the Graduation and I’m Smokin Stakes at Del Mar, the latter coming just 13 days ago.
Breaking from the inside under new rider Elvis Trujillo, who also rode Sharla Rae 24 hours earlier, Wake Up Nick, the 11-10 favorite against seven other colts & geldings who had been offered for purchase at any Barretts sale, was shuffled back and was in front of only two of his rivals after the opening half-mile.
However, Trujillo was able to find a seam with about an eighth of a mile remaining and pulled clear late to win by 2 ¾ lengths. He ran the 6 ½ furlongs in 1:17.60 and returned $4.20, $2.80 and $2.20. It was the fourth time in his career he’s been the public choice.
The $57,684 payday pushed Wake Up Nick’s earnings to $308,784.
“He’s such a cool horse,’’ said O’Neill. “Elvis did a brilliant job. Watching it unfold I thought we might be in serious trouble because he didn’t get a comfortable go of it the first quarter of a mile, but Elvis (Trujillo) knew what he had and this horse just knows where the wire is.’’
Making his first start since an authoritative maiden win July 12 at Los Alamitos, Rowdy Dylan, the 9-5 second choice, finished a half-length in front of 13-1 shot Top Drawer. The son of Sky Mesa did so despite running loose briefly prior to the start after unseating jockey Edwin Maldonado, then raced erratically through the stretch, winding up near the outside rail.
Rowdy Dylan returned $2.60 and $2.20 while the show price on Top Drawer was $3.40. Completing the order of finish were Zendai, Colorado Strong, Peradventure, Doc Charney and Matty’s Tribal.
Earlier in the day, apprentice jockey Drayden Van Dyke tripled, winning with his first three mounts. The leading jockey at the Summer Thoroughbred Festival meet in July, Van Dyke won the first with Navarre, the second with Kohala and the fourth with Cin City Lady.
With four days remaining in the Fall meet, Fernando Perez leads the rider standings with seven victories, one more than Van Dyke. William Antongeorgi III is third with five wins.
Racing resumes Thursday at Los Alamitos. Post time is 2 p.m.