Planetario Breaks His Own Track Record To Win Another GIII San Juan Capistrano S. At Santa Anita

Planetario | Benoit

Favored to defend his title in Sunday's GIII San Juan Capistrano S., Planetario (Brz) didn't disappoint, breaking his own course record over the 1 3/4-mile distance at Santa Anita in the process.

Installed the 3-5 choice to repeat, the 6-year-old settled at the back as longshots Bee Catcher (English Channel) and Rimprotector (Point of Entry) led through moderate early fractions. Turning for home, 5-2 second choice Rockemperor closed resolutely from the outside, while Planetario launched his own bid in between rivals down the center of course. While the former appeared to be en route to victory, the Brazilian bred had the most momentum, sweeping to the front late to post his first victory of the season.

“I rode him with patience and he gave me a good finish,” said winning rider Hector Berrios.

After the race, Antonio Fresu contemplated if he may have moved too early on Rockemperor. On the final turn, Fresu angled out Rockemperor for racing room and they seized control at the top of the stretch.

“At some point I had to go and try to get the momentum,” said Fresu. “That is how the track is playing. It is playing very speed favoring, so at some point I had to go. Maybe I should have waited a little bit longer, but I just asked when the horse was ready to go. He went and he never slowed down. The other horse just caught me.”

For Mandella, this was the third San Juan Capistrano win in his Hall of Fame career.

“He is an old pro. He knows what he is doing and he likes his job,” Mandella said. “He has a great mind and running in a race like that, that's what you need.”

A dual Group 1 winner in his native Brazil, Planetario made his initial six starts in the US, topped by wins in this race last June and the 12-furlong GII Hollywood Turf Cup at Del Mar in November. This season, he finished runner-up behind Missed the Cut in both the 10-furlong GIII San Marcos S. Feb. 10 and the GIII San Luis Rey S. over 1 1/2 miles Mar. 23. Favored in his latest, he came home a close-up third in the May 4 GII Charles Whittingham S.

Pedigree Notes:
Il Doge, Brazil's champion 2-year-old colt in 2014, is a son of Overbrook Farm homebred and 1998 GI Florida Derby winner Cape Town. Despite extremely small reported crops, he is the sire of two Brazilian Group 1 winners. Planetario's female family traces directly back to the Calumet Farm homebred Nellie Flag, who was sired by Man O' War's son American Flag and was Calumet's initial champion. The champion 2-year-old filly of 1934, Nellie Flag became a foundation mare for Calumet. In addition to producing champion Mar-Kell and Kentucky Oaks winner Nellie L., her descendants include three-time Horse of the Year Forego and Kentucky Derby winner Bold Forbes.


Sunday, Santa Anita
SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO S.-GIII, $100,500, Santa Anita, 6-16, 3yo/up, 1 3/4mT, 2:46.95, fm.
1–PLANETARIO (BRZ), 126, h, 6, by Il Doge (Brz)
                1st Dam: Aerosfera (Brz), by Crimson Tide (Ire)
                2nd Dam: High Hopes (Arg), by Lode
                3rd Dam: High Sever (Arg), by Ringaro
O/B-Stud Red Rafa (BRZ); T-Richard E. Mandella; J-Hector Isaac
Berrios. $60,000. Lifetime Record: MGISW-Brz, 19-8-3-1,
$390,548. Werk Nick Rating: B.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
Click for the free catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Rockemperor (Ire), 126, g, 8, Holy Roman Emperor
(Ire)–Motivation (Fr), by Muhtathir (GB). (€50,000 Ylg '17
ARAUG; €12,000 2yo '18 ARQMAY). O-Madaket Stables LLC,
Wonder Stables, Michael J. Caruso, Michael Dubb and Michael
Kisber; B-Haras du Mezeray (IRE); T-Philip D'Amato.
3–Rimprotector, 122, g, 5, Point of Entry–Flourish, by Distorted
Humor. ($18,000 Ylg '20 KEESEP). O-Fred Desimone, Gordon
Jarnig and Tim McCanna; B-Juddmonte Farms Inc (KY); T-Tim
McCanna. $12,000.
Margins: NK, 2HF, 1 3/4. Odds: 0.70, 2.60, 12.90.
Also Ran: Bee Catcher, Offlee Naughty, Order and Law.
Click for the chart and the PPs. VIDEO, sponsored by FanDuel TV.

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