Giant Expectations goes gate to wire to upset big names at Santa Anita
By Art Wilson
ARCADIA — Part owner Justin Border didn’t flinch when he saw his horse, Giant Expectations, sitting at 13-1 on the infield tote board when the field broke for Tuesday’s $300,000 Grade II San Antonio Stakes on opening day at Santa Anita.
The 4-year-old son of Frost Giant was the longest shot in the five-horse field that included Collected, runner-up to Gun Runner in last month’s Breeders’ Cup Classic, and Accelerate, winner of last summer’s Grade II San Diego Handicap at Del Mar.
“When you have a horseman like Peter Eurton as a trainer and you have an athlete the caliber of Gary Stevens in the irons, you always feel like you have a chance in any race you’re in, no matter what the odds say, no matter what the other horses in the race are,” a happy Border said in the winner’s circle after Giant Expectations went gate to wire to post a 3¼-length victory in the San Antonio.
Accelerate finished second and Collected, prepping for next month’s $16 million Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park, wound up third as the 1-5 favorite. Hoppertunity, trying to become the first three-time winner of the race, finished fourth as the second choice at 9-2.
Giant Expectations came down with a serious respiratory ailment and was knocked out of action for 11 months following a fourth-place effort in a maiden special weight at Santa Anita in June 2016. He returned the following May at Belmont Park and broke his maiden by 9¾ lengths in the slop. He won the Grade II Pat O’Brien Stakes at Del Mar in August and finished off the board in a pair of Grade I stakes, the Santa Anita Sprint Championship and Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, before Tuesday.
“We felt really good about this race coming in, we were excited, and he’s just […]