David and Jill Heerensperger’s classy long-distance specialist Bourbon Bay turned in one of the best performances of his career Sunday, mounting a furious rally from last at the quarter pole and reeling in game Slim Shadey (GB) to win the $150,000 San Luis Rey Stakes (G2) by a head at Santa Anita Park.
The six-year-old Sligo Bay (Ire) gelding secured his first win since taking the Cougar II Handicap (G3) on Del Mar’s synthetic Polytrack surface on July 29 and won his sixth graded stakes overall, adding to a sterling résumé that includes a win in the 2010 San Luis Rey.
Jockey Joel Rosario kept the gelding reserved behind his four opponents through an opening half-mile in :48 and six furlongs in 1:13.12. Pacesetter Hog’s Hollow was joined by stalkers Utopian and Slim Shadey entering the final turn and those three battled in early stretch. Bourbon Bay rallied from 5 1/2 lengths back at the quarter pole to prevail with a powerful rush as the 6-to-5 favorite.