ARCADIA, California — Abbey Vale won the $60,000 feature for older horses by a length Friday at Santa Anita after an 11-month layoff.
Ridden by Flavien Prat, Abbey Vale ran one mile on turf in 1:35.46 and paid $17.20, $6.80 and $5.40 at 7-1 odds.
Awesome Return returned $3.60 and $2.60, while Jules Journey was another nose back in third and paid $4.40 to show.
Ireland-bred Abbey Vale hadn't raced since being vanned off the track with an injury last April. The 5-year-old gelding was making his third U.S. start. The victory, worth $36,000, increased his career earnings to $98,014, with three wins in 18 starts.
Abbey Vale was first trained in the U.S. by Mike Mitchell, who retired last April because of brain cancer. He watched Friday's race from home.
"Dad has been so excited the past three days, never forgetting that the horse was running today," said McCall Mitchell Rousenfell, Mike's daughter. "We thought, 'OK, first time back so.,' but he's such a tiger, we were just so excited."
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