Gabriel's Hill relishes synthetic track at Santa Anita
Darley Stable's Gabriel's Hill scored an upset today at Santa Anita in an allowance event going a mile-and-one-sixteenth on the main track under jockey Jose Valdivia, Jr. The 3-year-old bay stalked a moderate pace and went three wide turning for home. He took the lead in mid-stretch and held on gamely to the wire by a neck over favorite Joy's Comet, paying $86.80 to win.
The A.P. Indy colt was making his first start on a surface other than turf since his debut race on Gulfstream Park's main track in January. He has a win and a third over five different turf courses, but trainer Eoin Harty chose to try him on Santa Anita's new synthetic surface.
"He trained very well on the polytrack this summer at Del Mar, but I didn't have an opportunity to run him on it," said Harty. "He seemed to relish the synthetic surface in today's race and he ran accordingly."
Gabriel's Hill was bred in Kentucky by Gainsborough Farm, a subsidiary of Darley Stable. He is out of the Unfuwain mare Lailani (GB).