Cecil N. Peacock's Don'tsellmeshort broke sharply under jockey Patrick Valenzuela and never looked back while scoring a gate-to-wire triumph in Wednesday's featured $125,000 Graduation Stakes for California-bred 2-year-olds.
Don'tsellmeshort resisted a mild challenge in the upper stretch from 3-5 favored Stalking Tiger and drew off to win by three lengths in 1:04 1/5 for the 5 ½ furlongs. The winner drifted out in mid-stretch and guided to the finish under strong handling.
"I don't think he like the whip too much," Valenzuela said. "After that I threw the reigns at him and he finished up well."
Military Mandate was third, two lengths behind the second horse and the same margin in front of fourth-place Badgett's Mandate.
Don'tsellmeshort, a son of Benchmark trained by Dan Hendricks, earned $75,000 with his second victory in four starts. Sent off as the fourth choice in the field of eight, his backers received $19.20, $5.40 and $3.80. Stalking Tiger, ridden by G.F. Almeida, returned $2.80 and $2.40. Military Mandate, with Alex Solis aboard, paid $5 to show. The $2 exacta was worth $51.40.
There were no perfect tickets in the Pick Six today, so there will be a carryover of $137,285 Thursday.