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Jun 05, 2015

Catch a Flight catches Moreno to win Californian Stakes


Arcadia, CA ( - Catch a Flight, the 2-1 second choice, wore down 13-10 favorite Moreno to win Saturday's $200,000 Californian Stakes at Santa Anita Park.

Trained by Richard Mandella and ridden by Gary Stevens, Catch a Flight stalked the leaders Big Cazanova and Moreno in the 1 1/8-mile Californian. Moreno, coming off a victory in April's Charles Town Classic, assumed the lead on the final turn as Catch a Flight ranged up from the outside in the eight-horse field.

Catch a Flight and Moreno were on even terms at the top of the stretch and dueled to the wire. Catch a Flight edged past Moreno to post a half-length victory.

"It was a match race inside the 1/8th pole," the winning Hall of Fame jockey stated.

Hard Aces was third followed by Blue Tone, Sammy Mandeville, Lideris, Big Cazanova and Bailoutbobby. You Know I Know was an early scratch.

Catch a Flight stopped the timer at 1:47.73 on a fast track.

Bred in Argentina, Catch a Flight notched his second straight graded stakes victory. The 5-year-old picked up $120,000 with Saturday's win which followed his victory in Santa Anita's Precisionist on May 2. Catch a Flight has won nine of 15 lifetime starts for $393,239.

"This was a step forward. The time of the race was good and he beat Moreno. Every step he's made has been forward. We'll look at the Gold Cup here next ($500,000, 1 1/4 miles on June 27)," the winning Hall of Fame trainer said.

Catch a Flight made his American debut in January at Santa Anita with a third in an allowance race followed by an allowance win on Feb. 13. He then finished third behind Shared Belief and Moreno in the Santa Anita Handicap on March 7.

Catch a Flight returned $6.60, $3.20 and $2.80. Moreno paid $2.60 and $2.40, and Hard Aces paid $3.60 to show.

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