Willa B Awesome wins Santa Anita Oaks
ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) - Willa B Awesome edged Reneesgotzip by a nose to win the $300,000 Santa Anita Oaks for 3-year-old fillies on Saturday.
Ridden by Martin Pedroza, Willa B Awesome ran 1 1-16 miles in 1:42.47 and paid $29.20, $7 and $2.40 at 13-1 odds. Reneesgotzip returned $3.80 and $2.10, while 1-2 favorite Eden's Moon was another 1 1/2 lengths back in third and paid $2.10 to show.
Derby Gold, trained by Bob Baffert, won the $200,000 Echo Eddie Stakes for California-bred 3-year-olds, while 11-1 shot Warren's Amber rallied between horses to win the $200,000 Evening Jewel Stakes for fillies.
Willa B Awesome's victory, worth $180,000, increased her career earnings to $428,896, with four wins in 12 starts.
Derby Gold's win in the Echo Eddie salvaged a tough day for Baffert, who was in Dubai recovering from a heart attack on Monday. His Game On Dude and The Factor were soundly beaten in their rich races there, while Eden's Moon failed to deliver for the Hall of Famer in the Santa Anita Oaks.
"This saves the day,'' said Jim Barnes, Baffert's assistant, who saddled Derby Gold to a three-length victory.
Derby Gold and Martin Garcia covered 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:14.77 and paid $21.40, $8.40 and $6.20. The Black returned $4 and $3.60, while Real Conundrum was another 1 1/4 lengths back in third and paid $10.40 to show.
Derby Gold earned $110,000, increasing his career earnings to $121,200, with one win in two starts.
In the Evening Jewel, Warren's Amber won by three-quarters of a length over Starlight Magic, covering the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:15.97. The winner rallied from 10th in the field of 11 to earn her second win in seven starts under 19-year-old Eswan Flores.
Warren's Amber paid $24.20, $8.40 and $5.80. Starlight Magic returned $3.60 and $3.20, while 59-1 River Kiss paid $15.40 to show.