Wild Dude catches Subtle Indian late in Kona Gold

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

May 22nd, 2016

The third race off the layoff proved to be the best for veteran sprinter Wild Dude, who wore down odds-on favorite Subtle Indian with an inside rally to capture Saturday's $201,035 Kona Gold (G2) at Santa Anita.

Riding the rail from post 1 under Rafael Bejarano, Wild Dude bided his time in fifth as Subtle Indian sped off to a five-length lead through an opening quarter in :21.58. The lead was diminished to a length after a half in :44.37.

In the stretch, Subtle Indian was noticeably tired but still clung to a short lead. However, inside the final sixteenth, Wild Dude found room to the inside and punched through to win by a length at odds of 9-2.

Owned by Green Smith and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, Wild Dude completed 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:15.10 over a fast track. He paid $11.20.

Subtle Indian held second by a half-length over Cautious Giant. The race was unfortunately marred by multiple graded stakes winner San Onofre being pulled up on the backside. Sent to pressure Subtle Indian out of the gate, San Onofre soon took a bad step, was pulled up in distress and vanned off. It was later reported he was euthanized.

A six-year-old son of Wildcat Heir, Wild Dude has won or placed in 11 graded stakes, with victories in the 2015 Bing Crosby (G1), Santa Anita Sprint Championship (G1), and San Carlos (G2) the previous highlights. He was sixth in his San Carlos title defense in his first start of the year March 12, and then finished second in the Los Angeles (G3) at Los Alamitos last time.

Wild Dude became racing's newest millionaire Saturday, pushing his earnings to $1,095,232 from a line of 22-8-5-4.

(Benoit Photos)