Om, the 6-5 favorite in a field of 11 3-year-olds, was an easy winner of the Dec. 26 Mathis Brothers Mile Stakes on Santa Anita Park's opening day. The Sareen Family Trust-owned son of Munnings won by 1-3/4 lengths, covering the mile on firm turf in 1:35.57. Perfectly Majestic, a 23-1 shot, was second.
Vigilante was 4-3/4 lengths back in third, who edged Acceptance by a half-length in the $200,000 race.
With Hall of Famer Gary Stevens aboard, Om tracked the pacesetting Acceptance early through moderate fractions of :23.03 for the opening quarter-mile and :47.15 seconds for the half. As the field made their way out of the final bend, Om easily went to the front and opened up a sizable advantage after hitting the eighth pole in 1:23.85. A sub :12-second final eighth sealed the deal.
"He's just a good horse," said trainer Dan Hendricks after the Mathis Brothers Mile. "He can get away from them when he wants. He's been doing well and we couldn't be happier than where he is right now."
The winner is out of the Tabasco Cat mare Rare Cat, bred in Kentucky by Lavin Bloodstock, Bernie Sams, and Bill Farish. He paid $4.40, $3, and $2.60. Perfectly Majestic paid $14 and $7.40 and Viligante paid $5 to show. The $1 exacta (10-2) returned $23.80.
Ground Rules was scratched.
The Mathis Brothers Mile marks the third Grade 2 win on the year for Om, whose earlier claim to fame was topping Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in a maiden race at Del Mar in August 2014. After finishing second in the Aug. 9 La Jolla Handicap, Om won the Del Mar Derby and Twilight Derby in back-to-back efforts under Stevens. Prior to the Mathis Brothers Om was third as the odds-on favorite in the Nov. 28 Hollywood Derby. His last three efforts came at 1-1/8 miles.
Hendricks said he'd consider running at the Grade 1 level in Om's next start and said it would be in March. That would be the Frank E. Kilroe Mile on the Big 'Cap undercard.
Consigned by Longfield, Indian Creek, agent, Om was a $60,000 purchase by Ryston Stables at the 2013 Keeneland September yearling sale. Hendricks went to $125,000 to purchase the colt at the 2014 Barretts March sale from the Niall Brennan Stables, agent, consignment.
Om is a half brother to stakes-placed Bear Dixiecat (by Dixie Union) and Twirling Tiger (by Twirling Candy).
Om has a 5-1-2 slate from 10 career starts and has earned $550,500.