Regally Ready hangs on to win the San Simeon Handicap.<br><a target="blank" href="">Order This Photo</a>

Regally Ready hangs on to win the San Simeon Handicap.
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Regally Ready Hangs On for San Simeon Win

Vinery's favored gelding gets first graded stakes win for trainer Steve Asmussen.

Odds-on choice Regally Ready set a blazing pace coming down the Santa Anita hillside turf course, staving off the fast-closing Camp Victory by a nose for his first graded stakes win in the $100,000 San Simeon Handicap (gr. IIIT) April 16 (VIDEO).

Vinery Stables' 4-year-old More Than Ready  gelding picked up his third victory of the meet on the hillside course for trainer Steve Asmussen.

On a hot day at Santa Anita, Regally Ready completed the about 6 1/2-furlong distance in a swift 1:12.33 with Mike Smith aboard for the first time. Regally Ready was coming off a 1 3/4-length win in the Joe Hernandez Stakes March 18.

Regally Ready broke third behind Victory Pete and Compari but quickly took the lead. Pressed hard by Victory Pete with Compari settling into third, Regally Ready set sizzling fractions of :21.62 and :42.98. He crossed the dirt portion of the course in command, shaking loose of Victory Pete and leading by 2 1/2 lengths mid-stretch. Regally Ready was weakening in the final sixteenth but held on under strong left-handed urging from Smith.

“They (Team Asmussen) told me to just stay out of his way," Smith said. "This was my first time on him, but I’ve been chasing him, so it’s nice to be on his back. I knew the two outside horses (Victory Pete and Compari) had been away a while, so I was hoping I could shake loose of them and get a little breather. When we came to the dirt, they both fell back and that gave me the break I needed. My horse relaxed a bit and that was the difference.”

Camp Victory, ridden by Joe Talamo, progressed along the rail and split horses in deep stretch between the winner and the tiring Compari to just miss. The runner-up turned in a big effort after being claimed two starts back for $40,000 by trainer Mike Mitchell.

Supreme Summit, angling wide for the drive for Rafael Bejarano, pipped Compari and Alonso Quinonez for third by a neck. Compari, a grade II winner who was undefeated in four prior starts on the Santa Anita turf, was making his first start since finishing fifth in the Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) July 10.

Grapestock bred Regally Ready, a $110,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase in 2008. The chestnut is out of Kivi, by the Irish stallion King of Kings.

Regally Ready improved his career record to 6-2-3 in 12 starts with earnings of $297,978.

“He certainly likes this course," said Katie Colsimo, Asmussen's assistant. "He’s been wonderful all winter for us.”

Carrying top weight of 120 pounds, Regally Ready paid $3.60, $2.60 and $2.10 as the 4-5 favorite. Camp Victory, who carried 114, returned $4.40 and $3.20 and completed a $16.40 exacta. Sierra Summit was $3 to show.

Compari was follow by Gallant Son and Victory Pete in the six-horse field.