What a View turns out to be lone speed in Kilroe

Profile Picture: Kellie Reilly

March 13th, 2016

Saturday’s $400,345 Frank E. Kilroe Mile (G1) at Santa Anita had no shortage of potential pace players – chief among them Midnight Storm and Om – but when none wanted the lead, the only other entrant with early speed, What a View, took the pole position on the front end. Hall of Fame rider Kent Desormeaux made the decisive move by the time the field approached the clubhouse turn, and soon after, trainer Kenneth Black was celebrating a landmark first graded win.

Sprinting to the fore through an opening quarter in :22.65, the California-bred maintained the quick tempo through splits of :46.25 and 1:10.17 on a “good” course that had absorbed a fair amount of rain. Longshot Kenjisstorm could not keep up, and surprisingly, neither could Om, who retreated as though something were amiss.

Midnight Storm and Bal a Bali were unable to mount much of a challenge turning for home, and they spent more time scrimmaging with each other down the lane than making headway. Bolo, the 2-1 favorite, churned on purposefully from the rear without threatening the winner.

Meanwhile, What a View was enjoying the view as he widened his margin to four lengths in midstretch. Despite coming home his last furlong in :12.93, he had long put the race away. What a View was still 3 3/4 lengths on top in a final time of 1:35.57.

Bolo prevailed in a photo-finish with Bal a Bali for runner-up honors, while Midnight Storm faded to fourth. The stewards posted the inquiry sign to take another look at the Bal a Bali versus Midnight Storm bumping match. Determining that Midnight Storm bore more of the blame for lugging in, they allowed the result to stand. There was a 7 1/4-length gap back to Kenjisstorm in fifth, and Om uncharacteristically trailed. De Treville, Dar Re Mi’s son by Oasis Dream, was a late scratch by the vet.

A homebred for the Ellwood Johnston Trust (in the name of Old English Rancho) and Sal and Patsy Berumen, who also campaign him in partnership with Finish Line Racing, What a View was still a maiden last August. The May 5 foal was unraced at two, made just two appearances at three, and didn’t resurface until the summer of his 4-year-old season. But the son of Vronsky made progress, first in the state-bred ranks, before capturing an open-company, entry-level allowance here December 26. What a View broke through with his first stakes victory in the January 30 Cal Cup Turf Classic, and made it three in a row in his graded debut in the Kilroe. Out of the Manila mare Oceans N Mountains, What a View sports a mark of 11-5-2-0, $532,148.

Quotes from Santa Anita

Judy Johnston, co-owner/breeder on the first Grade 1 win without her late husband, Bud Johnston: “He’s in the skybox, up there cheering for us.”

Winning trainer Kenny Black: “We’ve had some issues with his feet and I just wanted to keep him on the grass. There were some really tough horses in here: Bolo, Bal a Bali and Om, so we knew we were going to have to run big to win.”

Hall of Fame rider Kent Desormeaux on What a View: “Well from the ‘View’ I had everyone was going for the lead and this guy loves that; the faster, the better. I thought that if they all wanted to come at him, then he’d run them into the ground and I wanted to try and win the race that way.

“He was loaded turning for home. He was enjoying himself and I think he enjoyed the soft ground. The time is incredible because the turf has a tremendous amount of give in the ground. For him to put that number up on the clock, he’s a real racehorse.”

Hall of Fame rider Mike Smith on runner-up Bolo: “I think anybody that was going to lay close (to What a View) was just going to shoot themselves in the foot. To be honest, I think that helped us run second. If I had tried to lay close, I wouldn’t have run second.”

Photo courtesy of Benoit.