Roman Centurian (Empire Maker), the fourth-priciest yearling by his late sire in 2019, became the first 'TDN Rising Star' of 2021 with a facile victory at Santa Anita. He had debuted Nov. 22 going 6 1/2 panels at Del Mar and just missed third behind 'TDN Rising Star' and Saturday's GIII Sham S. winner Life Is Good (Into Mischief). Second in that same race was Wipe the Slate (Nyquist), who came with a Dec. 26 win at Santa Anita for an 88 Beyer. Regrouping with some added distance here, Roman Centurian was briefly shuffled to the back of the pack and was still no better than the penultimate spot after a half in :47.45. The bay began making headway about three-eighths from home on the outside. Swinging wide on the turn, he tackled the leader and kept going, skipping home the easiest of 3 3/4-length winners over Star Sailor (Union Rags), the former leader who got edged for the place before fighting to regain it. Roman Centurian paid $17.40 for the win.
Don Alberto Corporation bred Roman Centurian, then stayed in for a piece with Qatar Racing Limited when the colt hammered for $550,000 at the 2019 Keeneland September sale. Dam Spare Change has also produced Storie Blue–a full-sister to Roman Centurian–who was last year's third-place finisher in the GIII Santa Ysabel S. The mare has another full-sister to the duo in the freshly minted 2-year-old Silent Lady. Out of MGISW Finder's Fee (Storm Cat), Spare Change has since produced a yearling filly by Tiznow and was bred back to Street Sense for 2021.
6th-Santa Anita, $63,500, Msw, 1-3, 3yo, 1 1/16m, 1:44.88, ft, 3 3/4 lengths.
ROMAN CENTURIAN, c, 3, Empire Maker
1st Dam: Spare Change, by Bernardini
2nd Dam: Finder's Fee, by Storm Cat
3rd Dam: Fantastic Find, by Mr. Prospector
Sales History: $550,000 Ylg '19 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: 2-1-0-0, $40,020. Click for the Equibase.com chart, VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton or free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
O-Don Alberto Stable and Qatar Racing Limited; B-Don Alberto Corporation (KY); T-Simon Callaghan.