by Santa Anita Park Press Release
October 7, 2019
ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 6, 2019) — Last turning for home in a field of 11 juveniles, trainer Peter Miller’s El Tigre Terrible hugged the rail throughout and split horses in the shadow of the wire to nail his stablemate Bulletproof One by a head in a thrilling finish to Sunday’s $100,000 Speakeasy Stakes at Santa Anita. Ridden for the first time by Ruben Fuentes, El Tigre Terrible got five furlongs on turf and survived a jockey’s claim of foul from Edwin Maldonado for interference in deep stretch.
With Greg’s Diva and Alfie Solomons ensuring blazing splits of 20.76 and 43.99, El Tigre Terrible was content to make one run, and he made it count.
“I had never been on this horse, not even in the morning,” said Fuentes, who inherited the mount when regular rider Joe Talamo committed to riding in New York today. “They were going so quick up front that he settled on his own. I saved ground at the rail and we had a dream trip. It opened up and he finished strong. I didn’t think we bothered the other horse.”
A first condition allowance winner going 5 ½ furlongs on dirt at Del Mar Sept. 1, El Tigre Terrible, a California-bred colt by Smiling Tiger, was trying turf for the first time in his fifth career start and paid $49.20, $21.20 and $12.20 while off at 23-1.
Owned by Slam Dunk Racing and Michael Nentwig, El Tigre Terrible, by virtue of his win, is now eligible for a fees-paid berth into the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint on Nov. 1 at Santa Anita.
“I felt like one of my horses was going to win, both of them ran super and we couldn’t be prouder of the horses,” said Miller. “It was one of those last minute entries. It was about 10 o’clock in the morning before entries closed and I called Nick (Cosato, with Slam Dunk Racing) and said ‘Hey, I think we should take a shot. If I owned the horse, I would do it.’ He said ‘go ahead,’ and lightning struck.
“Ruben is a great young rider and a great young kid. I’ve been riding him more and with rides like this, we will be riding him even more.”
El Tigre Terrible, who is out of the Hold That Tiger mare King City Kitty, garnered his first stakes win and he now has three wins from overall five starts. With the winner’s share of $60,000, his earnings zoomed to $118,300.
The lone filly in the lineup, Bulletproof One was full of run around the turn and had to wait for room prior to making what appeared to be the winning move, but she couldn’t quite hold off the winner while finishing a half length in front of speedy Greg’s Diva.
Off at 5-1, Bulletproof One paid $7.60 and $5.00.
Ridden by Tyler Baze, Greg’s Diva was off at 6-1 and paid $5.40 while finishing 1 ¾ lengths in front of 5-2 favorite Ginobili.
Speakeasy Stakes Quotes
RUBEN FUENTES, EL TIGRE TERRIBLE, WINNER: “I had never been on this horse, not even in the morning. They were going so quick up front that he settled on his own. I saved ground at the rail and we had a dream trip. It opened up and he finished strong.”
PETER MILLER, EL TIGRE TERRIBLE, WINNER: “I felt like one of my horses was going to win, both of them ran super and we couldn’t be prouder of the horses.
“It was one of those last-minute entries it was about 10 o’clock in the morning before entries closed and I called Nick (Cosato) and said, ‘Hey, I think we should take a shot. If I owned the horse I would do it.’ He said ‘go ahead’ and lightning struck.'
“He showed a lot first time on the grass he was dead last and finished with a flourish, so onward and upward. My filly Bulletproof One deserved a shot as well. She ran super but we had to check and wait and came through. A horse freaked out at the gate (Mr. Tip) next to her so she didn’t break well. I’m just really proud of the horses and my whole team and I would like to thank the owners for the opportunity.
“Ruben (Fuentes) is a great young rider and a great young kid. I’ve been riding him more and with rides like this we will be riding him even more.”'
“Sometimes you take a shot and you win, sometimes you embarrass yourself, and sometimes you run one-two and it’s real sweet.
“We’ll look at the Breeders’ Cup, absolutely ($1 million Juvenile Turf Sprint at five furlongs on Nov. 1).”
NICK COSATO, OWNER, SLAM DUNK RACING: “It’s kind of crazy. You run the favorite in the race Ginobili), then you’ve got to survive an inquiry (with El Tigre Terrible). There was a lot going on, a lot of moving parts here. We bought this horse as a yearling at Pomona with the hopes of running him grass eventually.”