Jeranimo powers home in the Strub.<br><a target="blank" href="">Order This Photo</a>

Jeranimo powers home in the Strub.
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Stalker Jeranimo Surprises in Strub

Son of Congaree out-kicks odds-on choice Misremembered to register first stakes win.

Surprising Jeranimo , craftily ridden by Martin Garcia, slipped between the leaders at the sixteenth pole and rolled to a 1 1/4-length victory over 7-10 favorite Misremembered  in the $200,000 Strub Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Feb. 13 (VIDEO).

Jeranimo had a ton of trouble in his last start, a fourth-place finish in the Sunshine Millions Classic Jan. 30, and wouldn't have even run in the Strub had the race not been delayed by a week due to inclement weather and a poorly draining main track. The postponement gave trainer Michael Pender the opportunity, however, and he took advantage.

“We skipped this race last Saturday because it was coming back on seven days rest so we decided to take a shot today when it rained out," Pender said. "The weather man was our best friend."

Jeranimo, who went off at 11-1 odds, registered his first stakes in the Strub and just his third victory overall in 11 starts.

Garcia had not ridden Jeranimo before, but was able to stalk along the inside in sixth place before angling out and ranging into contention in the stretch. Inside the eighth pole, Garcia guided Jeranimo between the leader Acclamation and the challenging Misremembered to get the lead. The son of Congaree  inched away and held on gamely over Misremembered, who was ridden by Victor Espinoza. Acclamation, who also was a late addition to Strub out of the Sunshine Millions Classic, wound up third under David Flores, 2 1/2 lengths behind the winner.

The winning time for the 1 1/8-mile test for 4-year-olds was 1:47.83 over the Pro-Ride main track.

“I didn’t know a thing about this horse until this morning," Garcia said. "I went by the barn and Mike said he had a little trouble last time, but he’s got a lot of heart and to just ride him with confidence. I got him covered up early and he relaxed real well. At the top of the stretch, a hole opened up and he kicked on really strong.”

Jeranimo, who often finds trouble, was badly blocked at the eighth pole while rallying for Brice Blanc in the Sunshine Millions Classic and was forced to settle for fourth, beaten by 1 1/4 lengths. Now he's one of the contenders for the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) March 6.

"The horse just found a perfect little spot down on the rail, he was saving ground, and I thought to myself, ‘Oh no, here we go again,’ because he has been victimized countless times by poor racing luck," Pender said. "Today, the seam opened, and he just followed Misremembered right through the turn and cut on the inside of him. The race just fell into his lap for a change on his biggest day.”

Owned by B.J. Wright, Jeranimo earned $120,000 to boost his overall purse total to $264,600. The bay colt was bred in Florida by Brylynn Farm and is out of the Jeblar mare Jera. He sold for $70,000 at Barretts in May 2008.

Heavenly Wind set a pedestrian pace in the Strub -- :24.22, :48.23, and 1:12.03 -- before giving way to Acclamation, who put his head in front leaving the final turn. Acclamation led through most of the stretch run and fought back late but could not match the the first two.

Misremembered, who carried top weight of 121 pounds, has now finished second in three consecutive graded stakes since winning the Indiana Derby (gr. II) in October. The Bob Baffert trainee was also second in the Clark Handicap (gr. II) Nov. 27 and the Malibu Stakes (gr. I) a month later.

Jeranimo, under 117 pounds, paid $24.80, $7, and $5.20 as the fourth choice and keyed a $56.80 exacta with the odds-on choice, who returned $2.80 and $2.40. Acclamation was $6.20 to show.

Massone finished a length farther back in fourth, followed by Eagle Poise, Viscount, Rendezvous, Gallant Son, and Heavenly Wind. Smart Bid was scratched.