SIR ANTHONY Gives Aiken Trainer First Win Of 2019 In Cornhusker Upset
by Paulick Report Staff
Brian Hernandez guides Sir Anthony back to the winner’s circle after last December’s Harlan’s Holiday Stakes win
Richard Otto’s homebred Sir Anthony was an 8-1 surprise in Friday’s G3 Cornhusker Handicap at Prairie Meadows, closing from well off the early pace to score by a half-length on the wire. Ridden by Pedro Cotto, Jr., the 4-year-old Mineshaft ridgling covered nine furlongs over the fast main track in 1:48.98. The Cornhusker was the first win from 17 starts this season for trainer Anthony Mitchell.
Slow to get going out of the gate, Sir Anthony was at least a dozen lengths off the early leaders in the Cornhusker. There was a three-way battle for that front spot between Pinson, defending winner Remembering Rita, and Popularity, who set fractions of :23.00 and :46.72.
Sir Anthony made contact with the main body of the field in the backstretch, and Cotto gave him his cue at the half-mile pole. Winding up a four-wide bid, Sir Anthony was suddenly up into fourth with a quarter mile to run.
Meanwhile, Remember Rita had kicked away to a three-length advantage at the head of the lane. Cotto kept driving and Sir Anthony kept finding more, eventually running down the leader to hit the wire a half-length the best. Dark Vader closed with him to gain second over Remembering Rita, and Hence finished fourth.
Bred in Illinois by his owner, Sir Anthony is a second generation homebred out of the multiple stakes-placed Smart Strike mare Mourette. Otto purchased her dam, Amourette (El Gran Senor), for $30,000 at the 1997 Keeneland September sale, and she rewarded him with a trio of stakes wins and earnings of $248,786. Sir Anthony earned his first stakes win in August of his sophomore season, kicking off a four-race win streak that culminated in the G3 Harlan’s Holiday win over Audible last December. It took Sir Anthony several starts to really blossom in his 4-year-old campaign, but the Cornhusker brings his overall record to 6-3-2 from 18 starts for earnings of over $400,000.