Electrify cruises to victory in the Fred Hooper.

Electrify cruises to victory in the Fred Hooper.

Jim Lisa Photos

Electrify Sizzles in Fred Hooper

The 4-year-old gelding easily won his first graded stakes Dec. 15 at Calder

Padua Stables’ homebred Electrify scored his fourth stakes of the season, taking over at the top of the stretch and then pulling away for a 2 ¾-length victory in the $100,000 Fred W. Hooper Handicap (gr. III) (VIDEO) Dec. 15 at Calder Race Course.

A 4-year-old gelding by Delaware Township, Electrify earned his first career graded stakes win, going 1 1/8 miles in 1:52.56 on the main track. Summer Book was second, a half length in front of Imawildandcrazyguy. Pop Goes the Tiger was fourth in the full field of 12.

Ridden by Elvis Trujillo, who won three of the four graded stakes on Grand Slam II day at Calder, Electrify was sixth after a half-mile that was run in :47.80 by Golden Strategy. Pop Goes the Tiger and Indy Wind were also in contention, just behind Golden Strategy, who was still the leader after six furlongs in 1:12.87. Electrify was now third.

Trujillo guided Electrify between horses around the final turn and was moving best. He passed Pop Goes the Tiger and Golden Strategy, was clear by two at the top of the lane and inched away from the field in the final furlong despite carrying topweight of 122 pounds.

“I had two concerns going into the race – the post (11) and giving away some weight, but it worked out fine and Elvis (Trujillo) was able to get him positioned well in behind the jam of horses up front,” trainer Edward Plesa Jr. said. “He’s gotten better as the season has gone along, running some hard races.

“I think having him gelded before he came back this year has certainly helped him. We’re still looking at the Sunshine Millions (Santa Anita, Jan. 26) for him next.”

Trujillo had not ridden Electrify until this year, but has now guided him to four Calder stakes victories. The most recent was a 1 ¼-length score in the Nov. 10 Carl G. Rose Classic Handicap, where he also defeated Summer Book and Imawildandcrazyguy.

“Mr. Plesa told me to ride him like I own him,” Trujillo said. “I know this horse pretty well and I just thought that it was most important today to have good position, which we did. I felt there would be some horses finishing well in the stretch and it would benefit from getting the jump on them turning for home.”

Electrify, out of Time for a Change mare Raspberry Eggcream, paid $7.40 as the betting favorite. The exacta (11-10) returned bettors $56. The trifecta (11-10-9) was worth $124.

Electrify has won nine times in 20 career starts, seven in stakes competition.

Golden Strategy tired from the early pace duel and finished 11th as the third choice.

(Chart, Equibase)