Arson Squad Smokes Da Stoops in San Pedro

(from Santa Anita report)
One day after riding Brother Derek to a front-running victory in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), Alex Solis brought another 3-year-old, Arson Squad, from far off the pace to run down odds-on choice Da Stoops in Sunday's $91,180 San Pedro Stakes at Santa Anita.

The second choice at odds of 5-2, Arson Squad was timed in 1:15.81 for 6 ½ furlongs after lagging more than a dozen lengths behind the favorite, whom he overhauled in mid-stretch before drawing off to a 1 ¾-length victory.

"I was surprised at how far back he was," said Solis. "I would have liked to have been a lot closer, but they were running fast so I left him alone. I let the horse do his own running. At the quarter pole, he was flying, so I had to swing him out into the clear, and he got the job done."

Da Stoops, with Victor Espinoza aboard, tracked dueling leaders Popsa Yankee and Within Reason through early fractions of :21 and :44. He coasted to the lead while wide around the far turn just as Arson Squad was unleashing his late charge and offered little resistance when headed by the winner.

The high weight at 122 pounds, Da Stoops finished six lengths ahead of The Pharaoh, ridden by Tyler Baze. It was another 13 ¼ back to Within Reason while Popsa Yankee faded to last, 11 lengths behind Within Reason.

Arson Squad, who carried 116 pounds, paid $7.20, $3 and $2.10. Da Stoops returned $2.40 and $2.10. The Pharaoh paid $2.10 to show.

It was the second win in three starts for Arson Squad, a Pennsylvania-bred son of Brahms owned by Jay Em Ess Stable and trained by Bruce Headley. The winning purse of $51,720 increased his earnings to $83,400.

(Chart, Equibase)