With speedy Rocket Heat showing the way through uncontested fractions of 21.99, 44.18 and 1:07.74, it appeared he was headed to a front-running victory in Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Daytona Stakes, but Toowindytohaulrox collared him 40 yards from the finish and was up to win by a neck under Tiago Pereira, covering 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf in 1:14.26.
Off at 21-1, Toowindytohaulrox, a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred colt by Harlan’s Holiday, paid $44.60, $19.20 and $9.40. Owned by Queen Bee Racing, LLC, and trained by Phil D’Amato, he was most recently third, beaten 2 ½ lengths, in the Grade II, 1 1/16 miles turf Seabiscuit Handicap at Del Mar Nov. 27.
Toowindytohaulrox, who notched his second win from six starts down Santa Anita’s unique hillside layout, improved his overall record to 19-4-3-6. With the winner’s share of $60,000, he improved his earnings to $310,392.
Drawn on the extreme outside in post 14, fellow come-from-behinder Coastline, who was ridden by Tyler Baze, was up for the place, finishing another neck in front of Rocket Heat. Off at 52-1, Coastline paid $46.60 and $20.80. Off at 41-1, Rocket Heat, who was ridden by Edwin Maldonado, prevailed by a head over The Great War and paid $16.20 to show.