Jockey Garrett Gomez engineered a dream trip for Jimmy Creed in Wednesday’s Malibu Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita.
The ideal journey paid dividends as Jimmy Creed rolled to a smart tally in the $300,000 Grade 1 event, covering seven furlongs in 1:20.36 for owner Spendthrift Farm and trainer Richard Mandella. The time was only two-fifths of a second off Spectacular Bid’s 1:20 clocking in winning the 1980 Malibu. Pacesetter Private Zone held on for second after setting all the pace under Martin Pedroza. Unbridled’s Note closed some ground late to finish third.
Gomez tucked Jimmy Creed in behind runners in fourth through the race’s early stages. He came out between horses at the head of the lane to range up alongside Private Zone and proved best inside the sixteenth pole.
“With these kinds of races you never know what is going to happen,” said Gomez. “I knew on paper what the race might look like and which horses might show speed. When I left the gate my horse broke really well and stuck me in a place where I was very comfortable and he was traveling really comfortably. I thought I was in a fairly good spot and it was just a matter of which horse was going to kick on, so I had to make a decision on which horse to follow. It was a beautiful trip. It was a good learning experience for this horse and he just keeps getting better.”
Jimmy Creed is by Distorted Humor out of the stakes-winning Citidancer mare Hookedonthefeelin, and he was bred by Stonestreet Stables. Mandella indicated after the race that the Strub on Feb. 2 could be next and the Santa Anita Handicap (G1) to follow in March.
Jimmy Creed/Benoit photo