Jockey Kent Desormeaux, left, celebrates with trainer Ed Moger Jr. after Stilleto Boy’s win in the G1 Santa Anita Handicap
Stilleto Boy was doing well and on his way back to Golden Gate Fields one day after earning his first Grade I victory in the Santa Anita Handicap, trainer Ed Moger Jr. reported Sunday.
“Everything’s great; couldn’t be doing better,” Moger said via cell phone at around 8 a.m. (PT). “He’s here with me on the van and we’re about halfway home.”
Stilleto Boy, a 5-year-old Shackleford gelding, earned $300,000 for his neck victory in the Big ‘Cap under Hall of Famer Kent Desormeaux, pushing his career bankroll to $1,711,675. In eight previous Grade 1 attempts, Stilleto Boy finished in the top-four on five separate occasions without a win. In last year’s Big ‘Cap he was third.
For Moger, the Big ‘Cap was the second Grade 1 win in a career that’s nearing five decades. His previous Grade 1 win came in the 2015 Matriarch Stakes with Stormy Lucy.
“I thought we had a really good chance going in,” Moger said of the Big Cap. “I’ve been training for 47 years and never thought I’d be in that position to have a top contender for the Santa Anita Handicap much less win it.”
While Stilleto Boy was the 5-1 fourth choice on the morning line, he floated up to 13-1 and paid $29.80 as the fourth-longest shot in a field reduced to nine with the scratches of longshots Parnelli and Scarlet Fusion.
Stilleto Boy is owned by Moger’s brother, Steve Moger. They are already thinking about what’s next for the 5-year-old gelding by Shackleford.
According to Ed Moger, Stilleto Boy will likely be making another trip outside of California. Earlier this year on Jan. 28 Stilleto Boy went to Gulfstream Park and ran third in the Pegasus World Cup (G1). Moger said both the $1-million Oaklawn Handicap (G2) at 1 1/8 miles on April 22 and/or the $1-million Metropolitan Handicap (G1) going a mile at Belmont Park on June 10 are under consideration.