Santa Anita's Californian Stakes Results and Payouts for 4/30/22

Stilleto Boys prevails in the Grade 2 Californian Stakes. (Benoit Photo)
Californian Stakes ResultsPayoffs - Win Place (No Show wagering)
1Stilleto Boy - $6.00; $2.10
2Express Train - $2.10
3 Spielberg

Stilleto Boy Dictates the Pace in Californian Stakes

(Edited Press Release)

Clearly asserting himself as the top rider on the West Coast, Juan Hernandez sent Stilleto Boy to the lead and never allowed heavily favored Express Train to get on even terms as Stilleto Boy took the Grade 2, $200,000 Californian Stakes at Santa Anita Park by 2 ¼ lengths on April 30, setting the stage for a potential showdown in the Hollywood Gold Cup (G1) on May 30.

Trained by Ed Moger and owned by his brother Steve, Stilleto Boy, a 4-year-old gelding by Shackleford, got 1 1/8-miles in 1:48.07.

Sent from his outside post in a field of four, Stilleto Boy outran Express Train and Holden the Lute around the Club House turn and despite a determined effort from the favorite three sixteenths of a mile from home, Stilleto Boy never looked a loser.

“I worked him a couple of times,” said Hernandez, who notched his second stakes win of the day and now trails the recently departed Flavien Prat 72-65 in the Winter/Spring Meet standings. “Last time (a bullet five furlongs in :58.80 on April 23), he impressed me a lot. He worked really sharp and really fast. He was doing everything by himself…Mr. Moger told me to be aggressive out of the gate and put him into the race and he helped me a lot, too.

“He broke really sharp and put himself on the lead and held onto it. Express Train is another really nice horse. He ran really well and he was right next to me the whole time and around the (far) turn, it looked like he was going to pass by. He made me work really hard today.”

Most recently third, beaten nine lengths by Express Train in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap on March 5 and a solid third two starts back behind Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) winner Life Is Good in the Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup Invitational at Gulfstream Jan. 29, Stilleto Boy was off as the 2-1 second choice with Hernandez up for the first time and paid $6.00 and $2.10 with no show wagering.

“I thought he ran a winning race in Florida and I think he ran just as good today,” said Moger, who in winning his first race from eight tries with Stilleto Boy, helped put him over the $1 million mark in earnings. “He beat a good horse today. We’ve been thinking about the Hollywood Gold Cup as long as he ran good here.”

Graded stakes placed on three occasions with Moger, Stilleto Boy got his first graded stakes win today and with the winner’s check of $120,000, increased his earnings to $1,031,175.

Express Train, fresh off victory in the Santa Anita Handicap and a winner of three consecutive stakes at the current meet dating back to victory in the Grade 2 San Antonio Dec. 26, was the 2-5 favorite with Victor Espinoza up and finished some 22 lengths in front of Spielberg while paying $2.10 to place.

Fractions, all set by the winner, were 22.92, 46.30, 1:09.70 and 1:34.96.

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