For those who missed the winner's-circle festivities Saturday when trainer Charlie Whittingham and jockey Bill Shoemaker teamed to win the Santa Anita Derby with Temperate Sil, there was a flashback Sunday.
This time, Whittingham saddled Reloy in the $165,100 Santa Barbara Handicap, and Shoemaker rode the 4-year-old filly to a half-length victory over Northern Aspen before 43,692 fans.
"I'm on a roll," Shoemaker said, understating a streak that has raised the total of purses won by his mounts this year to more than $1.7 million. That's in about 200 races. The seven jockeys ahead of him on the Daily Racing Form's money list have each ridden between 300 and 500 times.
There were two ways Shoemaker could have been beaten Sunday on Reloy, but neither mattered. Gary Stevens, riding Northern Aspen, shot his mare between horses on the far turn, going to the front just when Reloy was about to take the lead away from Benzina.
Then it appeared that Northern Aspen might outlast Reloy in a long stretch drive.
"When Stevens went through there with his horse, I went right with him," Shoemaker said. "I didn't want him to get too far away from me."
Shoemaker wasn't sure he'd overhaul Northern Aspen, who split two decisions with Reloy last month at Santa Anita.
"It was questionable until the last 30 or 40 yards," Shoemaker said. "This filly of mine has gotten awfully good now."
Reloy, the high weight at 120 pounds, was timed in 2:00 for the 1 miles on grass and earned $97,600 for breeder-owner Nelson Bunker Hunt. She was favored and paid $7, $4 and $3. Northern Aspen finished 1 3/4 lengths in front of Ivor's Image, who got up by a nose to edge An Empress out of the show spot.
Northern Aspen paid $4 and $3.60 and Ivor's Image returned $5.40. The field was reduced to nine horses with the scratch of New Bruce.
Reloy might be awfully good right now, but no one's hotter than Shoemaker. He also won the sixth race with Fancy Oats, giving him six wins in two days.
"It helps your confidence when you're winning," the 55-year-old jockey said after winning his 970th stake. "You feel like you can't make any mistakes. So usually you don't."
"Bill can ride like a wild man," said Whittingham, who won his 477th stake. "If he keeps riding like this, they'll probably give him his five pounds (the apprentice allowance) back."