Proxy just misses out in G1 Santa Anita Handicap thriller
Proxy unleashed a relentless late run to go down by a neck to Stilleto Boy in a pulsating renewal of the G1 Santa Anita Handicap at Santa Anita, USA, on Saturday, 4 March.
Burdened with the widest draw, last season’s G1 Clark Stakes winner was held up in seventh on the outside of the field by John Velazquez before being shuffled back a place as Defunded stretched the field after the first three furlongs.
Proxy had eight lengths to make up as he started to make his move around the field leaving the back and the Michael Stidham-trained five-year-old still had seven rivals in front of him at the top of the lane.
Defunded fought off Hopper to establish a clear advantage over a furlong out, as Stilleto Boy rallied to mount his challenge and Proxy made eye-catching ground down the centre of the track.
Stilleto Boy wore down Defunded in the final strides, with Proxy’s late charge also seeing him collar the long-time leader near the line. Three-quarters of a length separated the first three home, with a length and a half back to Hopper in fourth.