March 2, 2019 – Tyler Baze studied the brief racing history of the colt Stubbins before Saturday’s $100,000 Pasadena Stakes for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita.
“I watched his replays,” Baze said. “He seemed like he was push-button.”
Baze put the theory to work in the one-mile race, which was originally carded for turf but run instead on a sealed and sloppy track. Stubbins, making his stakes debut, took the lead a few strides away from the gate and pulled clear in the final half-mile to win by eight lengths against four rivals.
“He’s very fast,” Baze said. “That was the plan – to open up a length at the start. I put them away on the turn.”
Stubbins was bred by Patrick and Brittney Durtschi on advice of Mike Recio/Rockbridge Bloodstock and later graduated from Recio’s South Point Sales consignment at the 2017 Keeneland September Yearling auction. Now racing in the colors of McShane Racing and trained by Doug O’Neill, he has won three consecutive races.
“It’s not every day you get a good 3-year-old colt that comes around this time of year,” Baze said. “Hopefully, I get to stick with him and we’ll see how far we’ll go, because he’s pretty nice. I’ve never ridden him before, but from watching tape of all four of his races, he seemed very push-button.
Stubbins began his career sprinting on the dirt during the summer at Del Mar in 2018 and placed in a pair of maiden special weight events before he moved to the grass and broke his maiden Jan. 5 at Santa Anita. He followed that effort with a neck allowance win Feb. 10 at Santa Anita.
“When we ran him at Del Mar, we knew he was legit, but he had some issues with his shins, so we gave him time off,” said Leandro Mora, O’Neill’s top assistant. “He’s going up the ladder now—getting better and better with each race. This was huge today.”
Stubbins was timed in 1:36.15. He has now won 3 of 5 starts and earned $146,400.
The race originally drew a field of nine, but lost four runners when the surface switch was announced, including another Rockbridge Bloodstock mating/South Point Sales grad Colonial Creed.