Manhattan Up, an $80,000 claim Aug. 22 at Del Mar, paid immediate dividends for KAM Racing Stable and trainer Jonathan Wong Sunday at Los Alamitos.
Adding blinkers for his new connections, the 5-year-old Street Boss gelding responded with a 1 ½ length victory over 14-1 shot Sash and four others in the $100,000 Los Alamitos Special.
Well placed throughout by jockey Tiago Pereira, Manhattan Up, who is out of the Service Stripe mare In the Frame, ranged up alongside Sash, who showed the way under Kyle Frey, and went on to prevail in 1:42.87 for the 1 1/16 miles.
The $60,000 payday increased Manhattan Up’s earnings to $246,467 and it was his fourth win in 22 starts. He paid $10.80, $6.40 and $3.60 as the 4-1 fourth choice.
Sash, who was seeking his first win of 2021 for trainer Mark Glatt, returned $13.60 and $5 while finishing 2 ½ lengths clear of stablemate and 5-2 second choice Bold Endeavor. The show price on Bold Endeavor was $2.60.
Magic On Tap, the 17-10 favorite, Leading Score and Border Town completed the order of finish.
“The owner (Brent Malmstrom’s KAM Racing Stables) picked (Manhattan Up) with this race in mind,” said Wong. “They wanted to run him here. They thought he would fit well and would stretch out.
“We put some blinkers on him and sent him up north and he trained very well over the (Tapeta surface at Golden Gate Fields). He came into the race really good and Tiago gave him a perfect ride.”
This wasn’t Pereira’s first victory aboard the Kentucky bred. He won an optional claimer going seven furlongs Feb. 8, 2020 at Santa Anita for former trainer Phil Oviedo.
“He’s a very nice horse,” said Pereira. “He raced between horses and relaxed nicely. When I asked him in the stretch he gave me a really strong finish.”
Later in the afternoon, Samurai Charm, the 2-1 second choice, led throughout, holding off 3-1 third choice Velvet Slippers by a head to win the $75,000 Dark Mirage Stakes.
A 4-year-old First Samurai filly out of the Silver Charm mare Back Seat Charm owned by Downstream Racing LLC and trained by Peter Miller, Samurai Charm is now 5-for-6 lifetime with four of those wins coming in succession in 2021. She hasn’t lost since finishing third in her career debut Aug. 17, 2019. Her bankroll is $146,760.
She’s also 3-for-3 at Los Alamitos after her third consecutive victory at one mile, prevailing despite doing some zig-zagging in the stretch under jockey Kyle Frey.
“She relaxed perfectly up front, and then I angled her out a bit coming into the stretch because she had a habit of lugging in,” said Frey, who tripled Sunday, also taking the second – for Miller – aboard Finglas Lad and the seventh with Cowboys Daughter.
“She’s never done anything like that in and out, though, and I just kept trying to straighten her. When she saw (Velvet Slippers) come to her inside the sixteenth pole, she dug back in and was real game.”
Samurai Charm, who completed the distance in 1:36.67, paid $6.40, $3.60 and $2.40. Velvet Slippers, who trailed early, rallied strongly along the inside to just miss while finishing two lengths in front of 7-5 favorite Paige Anne. Velvet Slippers returned $4.40 and $2.40 while the show price on Paige Anne was $2.20. Harper’s Gallop and Candura completed the order of finish. Big Sweep was scratched earlier in the day.
The Dark Mirage win capped a triple for Miller. In addition to the victory with Finglas Lad, he also won the first with Miss Reno.
Racing resumes Friday at Los Alamitos. Post time is 1 p.m.