ALAMEDA COUNTY STAKES RACE
SUNDAY, July 8
By Dennis Miller
Heading into Sunday’s Everett Nevin Alameda County stakes – the final stakes race of the Alameda County Fair – the connections for Anytime Magic had two simple plans.
Trainer Bob Hess and jockey David Lopez knew the race would go one of two ways.
“Plan A was if he breaks good, then go,” said Hess. “Plan B was if he didn’t, then wait for a spot to make a run and then go.”
As for how things played out, let Lopez explain it.
“Bob said if he broke bad use Plan B,” said Lopez. “But we didn’t need it. I hope we never need it.”
For Anytime Magic and the Hess-Lopez connection, the trio has not needed Plan B in either of the 2-year-olds career starts. In the Lost In The For at Golden Gate Fields, the horse broke second, assumed the lead midway through the race and never looked back.
Native Treasure, who put the pressure on early held on for second and K Court was third.
Sunday in the Nevin it was a tougher field for the horse, but the results were pretty similar. The horse broke second again, but this time took the lead by the next call, held it tightly through the middle of the 5<1/2>-furlong sprint, then broke it open at the top of the stretch.
Two starts, two impressive stakes win and still plenty of room to improve.
“I still think he will be a better horse if you don’t have to use him that much early,” said Hess. “He broke good. Now it’s just a matter of how good he can be.”
Hess will take the next step in finding out when he sends Anytime Magic out in the Cavonnier Juvenile Stakes on August 12 at the Sonoma County Fair. After that is to be determined.
“I had a plan – Golden Gate Fields, Pleasanton, Santa Rosa and Fresno,” said Hess. “But knowing me, the plans can always change.”