Pepe Tono bested a field of top-class maiden 3-year-old colts with a extraordinary performance in a one-mile maiden special weight affair Jan. 19 at Santa Anita Park.
The Bodemeister colt broke well enough, but fell to the back of the field mid-way around the first turn and was at least a dozen lengths back of the lead after the first half-mile. Still left with plenty of work to do three furlongs from the wire, the dark bay colt kicked into high gear and never let up until he stopped the timer in 1:39.55, winning by 1 ½ lengths (VIDEO
Owned by Victor Garcia, Pepe Tono is the first foal out of the A. P. Indy mare Cassis Royale and was bred by Sanford Robertson. Pepe Tono sold for $85,000 to his trainer at the 2016 Keeneland September Yearling sale.
Bodemeister was last year's leading Second-Crop Sire, topped of course by his Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Always Dreaming, who is back in training as he readies for is 2018 campaign. Bodemeister has had seven winners in the past week, as well as the stakes-placed colt Empire Power, in the Jan. 6 Limehouse S. at Gulfstream Park.