Julien Leparoux guided 5-2 second choice Chips All In to a nose victory over longshot Boat Trip and Garrett Gomez in the Eddie D. Stakes (G3) on opening day at Santa Anita Sept. 27.
Chips All In covered 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf course in 1:12 flat. Trained by Jeff Mullins, Chips All In won the Grade 3 San Simeon Stakes down the hill three starts back on April 20.
When asked about the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint on Nov. 2, trainer Jeff Mullins responded, “He’s not eligible…That’s going to be up to the owners. They’re going to have to come up with a lot of money (a supplemental fee of $100,000). We’ll see how he comes out of this, regroup and see what they want to do. You never know.”
Although he had routed in his last two starts, Leparoux was intent on allowing Chips All In to motor early on.
“He broke pretty good, and I tried to put him in the race,” said Leparoux. “And then I just tried to be clear and not have any traffic. I put him where he was clear, and he put me there easy. I thought I felt someone coming on the outside, and he went on. He loves this track and loves this distance.”
Owned by Jean Everest, John O’Brien and Danny Valdez of Salt Lake City, Chips All In, a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred colt by North Light, picked up $60,000 for the win, running his bankroll to $410,613. He now has seven wins, five seconds and a third place finish from 16 lifetime starts.
Boat Trip, far back early with Gomez, finished a half length in front of favored Unbridled’s Note.
Winner of last year’s Eddie D., Unbridled’s Note was the actual 5-2 favorite with Corey Nakatani up. He finished a neck in front of comebacking Caracortado.