In an optional claiming allowance race with possible Triple Crown ramifications at Santa Anita Wednesday, Pelirrojo closed from last to nip Raven Power by a neck in the one-mile, $54,000 race. Under Garrett Gomez and on a fast track, the distinctive gray Kentucky-bred son of Flying Continental completed the trip in 1:37.93.
Stronach Stable's Raven Power, a son of Known Fact sent off as the 9-10 favorite, finished a head in front of third-place Azillion (by Alzao). The Bob Baffert-trained pair of Puerto Banus and True Monarch were next across the wire in that order, followed by Overbrook Farm's Gold Dollar and longshot Cable Ready.
Raven Power set honest fractions of :23.28 and :46.98 while tracked by True Monarch and Gold Dollar, with Azillion sitting in a perfect spot in fourth along the rail in his American racing debut. A confirmed closer, Pelirrojo raced in last at the half-mile, then moved up a spot as True Monarch edged closer to Raven Power with a quarter-mile to run. Gomez then guided Pelirrojo for a rally along the rail and then outside in upper stretch, before he split horses with a furlong to go en route to the win.
Sent off at just under 5-1, the John Sadler-trained Pelirrojo paid $11.40 for the win and topped a $1 exacta worth $13.20.
Pelirrojo is out of the Cozzene mare La Fresa and is a Granja Vista Del Rio homebred.
Pelirrojo has now won two of three starts, disappointing only in a six-furlong allowance race won by Werblin on the meet's opening day. (Chart, Equibase