Big Cap goes to Einstein
Spectators could not wait to see some of their favorite jockeys in action, as six big names descended on the Santa Anita Park Racecourse, to participate in the Santa Anita Handicap, also referred to as the Big Cap. On Saturday, 7 March 2009, jockeys Ramon Dominguez, John Velazquez, Julien Leparoux, Edgar Prado, Jon Court and Robby Albarado were greeted by an enthusiastic crowd, as everyone braced themselves for the excitement and thrill of the 72nd Santa Anita Handicap. World Class jockeys, spectacular horse racing athletes and overwhelming support, made the Big Cap an event to remember, and Einstein, a horse not to forget.
The Santa Anita Handicap has a wealthy purse of $1 million and is a Grade 1 horse racing events for horses that are four years old and older. Run over a distance of ten furlongs at the Santa Anita Park Racecourse, the Big Cap is known to be the venue for major victories, great upsets and unbeatable live racing action. Seven year old Einstein and his jockey, Julien Leparoux, gave it their all during this event, and proved to be a racing force no-one could beat.
Leparoux and Einstein bided their time, slowly working their way forward through a contender field of thirteen. By the time they reached the point in the race where there was a mere half a mile left to go, they were in third position. In the home stretch, they found their gap and sailed past Cowboy Cal and Matto Mondo. The challenge was on, but no-one could strip Einstein of his first place position, or victory, Einstein was followed home by Champs Elysees and Matto Mondo in third.
For Leparoux, the event went perfectly, commenting that he was a little uncertain about how Einstein would react to the ProRide surface, even though he has shown to be comfortable on both grass and dirt. But Einstein did not put a foot wrong, taking the change of surface in his stride and delivering a breathtaking winning performance. For trainer, Helen Pitts-Blasi, the victory was memorable and overwhelming, becoming the first female trainer to enjoy a win at the Santa Anita Handicap.