Stiletto Boy, the 5-year old son of Shackleford, has run competitively in some of America’s richest races — twice third in the $3 million Pegasus World Cup and fifth in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic — but yesterday’s win of the $500,000 2023 Santa Anita Handicap marked his first G1 win. The colt, ridden by Kent Desormeaux, beat Proxy by a neck.
Last year, Stiletto Boy finished third in the “Big ‘Cap”, but this year, the race unfolded in a picture perfect run. Stiletto Boy broke sharply from the number four post position and tucked into fourth place by the rail. Turning for home, he was two lengths off the favorite, Defunded.
Stilleto Boy ran down Defunded, who had turned on a burst of speed and led by a length and then held off a late charge from Proxy.
“I’ve been telling everyone that he is the best horse in racing. I really think he is the best horse, the race in the Pegasus was a really strong race and we had him go out of the 11 hole that day, Defunded barely beat us that day, so I knew we could beat him because we had beaten him before, I though he was the horse to beat. I thought he could win, and he’s been training great.
“I love the horse. It is a great race to win in California, it’s been a famous race for a long time and it feels great to win it. There was no Flightline today, no Knicks Go, or Life Is Good, so here we are. It was a perfect ride.”ED MOGER JR., Trainer
The race did more than put Stiletto Boy on the G1 map; for jockey Kent Desormeaux it was a redemption. While there’s no doubt of his talent – the Hall of Famer is a three-time Eclipse Award winner — his career has been marred by suspensions and arrests while struggling with his addiction to alcohol. He missed most of the 2022 season and for ten months he was persona non grata in California where officials deemed a 2021 altercation in a Del Mar parking lot involving an intoxicated Desormeaux breached an agreement made with the California Horse Racing Board to stay off the alcohol and was issued with a 60-day suspension.
Then last January Desormeaux was arrested in Louisiana on a domestic battery and abuse charge. For that incident he was also banned from Santa Anita, plus other tracks owned by 1/ST Racing.
“For me, after my life of off-the-race-track debacles, it shows that I’ve come full circle and we can put that to bed and I can continue with my career. It’s going to be up to me to stay clean.”
“It took a lot of bravado for the owner and trainer to let me ride the horse again. This horse I’ve always known him as a good horse, a great horse. I willed him to win today.”Kent Desormeaux
One thought on “Stiletto Boy Wins Santa Anita Handicap for First G1 Win”
I’ve always liked Kent Desormeaux, but I wish to dog he’d stay off the sauce. He has talent to burn, and yet he just can’t stay clean. Even his brother Keith (a trainer) has told him, you keep drinking, you don’t ride my horses. While I know that the Prohibition didn’t do anything but make alcohol into a blackmarket substance, and never did stop the drunks, still, there was something to be said for the temperance movement. It’d never work these days, no way, and honestly, shouldn’t. I don’t drink, although I like a glass of DR Loosen’s Riesling with dinner in a GREAT while, but I also know that some people just can’t handle anything with alcohol. It makes them do stupid things, like throw punches or drive cars.