ARCADIA, Calif. (June 8, 2014)—Ridden for the first time by Kent Desormeaux, Unusual Heatwave overhauled favored Mega Heat late to win Sunday’s $100,000 Crystal Water Stakes by three quarters of length, covering one mile on turf in 1:34.17.
Trained by Alexis Barba, Unusual Heatwave had been winless in his last six starts, with his most recent victory coming in the Real Good Deal Stakes at Del Mar on Aug. 3, 2012.
“He had a bit of problem with his breathing, but we’ve got that addressed now,” said Barba. “We felt he was doing well coming into this race and it was great to see him run well.”
With Ethnic Dance, ridden by Edwin Maldonado, showing the way through splits of 23.69, 47.30, 1:10.80 and 1:22.39, Desormeaux had his mount sitting a close third at the rail, just inside of favored Mega Heat, who was ridden by Corey Nakatani.
“My biggest concern was, ‘Does Corey have any horse,’” said Desormeaux. “I was just trying to key off of him and see if something was going to open up. When we switched out (approaching the sixteenth pole), I was hoping Unusual Heat (the winner’s sire) was going to kick in and he did. He really gave me a big turn of foot.”
Off at 7-1 in a field of six California-breds aged three years old and up, Unusual Heatwave, a 5-year-old son of Unusual Heat from the Candie’s Gold mare Miss Alphie, paid $16.80, $6.00 and $3.40. Owned by Theresa McWilliams, Unusual Heatwave improved his record to 19-4-3-4. With the winner’s share of $60,000, he now has earnings of $482,752.
Mega Heat, off as the 8-5 favorite, was 1 ½ lengths off the lead at the top of the lane and finished second by a nose in front of pacesetter Ethnic Dance. Trained by Peter Eurton, Mega Heat paid $3.40 and $2.60.
Ethnic Dance finished 4 ¾ lengths in front of longshot China Prince and paid $2.80 to show.