With Flavien Prat calling the signals on the lead, a new Derby contender emerged today at Santa Anita as longshot Lombo scored an impressive two length victory in the Grade III, $150,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes. A Kentucky-bred colt by Graydar, Lombo is trained by Mike Pender and he got a mile and one sixteenth in 1:45.41.
A 3 ½ length maiden winner going six furlongs here on Jan. 20, Lombo was making his fourth career start today and his first added money appearance.
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“He ran a big race,” said Prat, who picked up the mount when Kent Desromeaux opted to ride eventual runner-up Ayacara. “They put a little pressure on him down the backside, but he was nice and relaxed. I worked him last week and he’s got a lot of speed. I was concerned he might want to go, but he was relaxed. That was my main concern, but he releaxed and then he went on.”
Robert B. Lewis Replay
Off at 8-1 in a field of nine sophomores, Lombo paid $19.40, $10.40 and $7.20.
Owned by Michael V. Lombardi, Lombo was purchased for $75,000 at an Ocala, Fla. 2-year-old in training sale this past March. Out of the Johannesburg mare Burg Berg, Lombo is now 4-2-0-1. With the winner’s share of $90,000, Lombo increased his earnings to $129,225.
“He’s definitely a high octane horse,” said Pender. “Apparently, Graydar had some of the same characteristics and Unbridled’s Song (Graydar’s sire) as well. He’s just a big kid and has a little (Attention Deficit Disorder) to him, but he’s starting to figure it out. When he does…I think he’ll be really dangerous.”
Along with the purse money, Lombo picked up 10 Kentucky Derby qualifying points.
Well back early, Ayacara ran on very well late for the place under Kent Desormeaux, finishing 2 ¼ lengths in front of longshot Dark Vadar.
Off at 9-2, Ayacara paid $6.00 and $4.40.
Ridden by Stewart Elliott, Dark Vadar was in an all-out drive around the far turn and finished third, 3 ½ lengths in front of Regulate. Off at 36-1, Dark Vadar paid $13.60 to show.
The disappointment in the Lewis was 2-1 favorite Peace, who added blinker but turned in a dull effort, finishing seventh under Mike Smith.
Fractions on the race were 23.40, 47.26, 1:12.20 and 1:38.34.
The second, third and fourth place finishers received four points, two points and one point, respectively.
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