Harry J. Aleo's Frisco Star, who set a track record last summer at Santa Rosa when he broke his maiden by 8 1/2 lengths, made his long awaited second start Thursday at Bay Meadows and scored a hard-fought victory.
The 3-year-old Frisco Star, a stablemate of champion sprinter Lost in the Fog, got up in the final strides to win a six-furlong allowance/optional claiming race by a head over Barber.
Ridden by Russell Baze for trainer Greg Gilchrist, Frisco Star was timed in 1:09.61 and paid $2.80 to win.
"He struggled with the track a bit," said Baze. "It was a pretty game effort. He's still a little green. It was only his second start and that first one was a long time ago. I'm pretty proud of him because he was struggling with the track and he could have given up, but he didn't."
Aleo, who along with Gilchrist campaigns the Eclipse Award-winning Lost in the Fog, has been eager to see Frisco Star make his 3-year-old debut. As a juvenile, the colt set a track record at Santa Rosa of 1:01.65 for 5 1/2 furlongs.
"Well, a win's a win," said Gilchrist. "He struggled with the track but he kept digging and digging. I could tell he was having trouble with it when he was four or five lengths off the (early) pace. He didn't figure to be that far off it. He was pretty damn tired in the winner's circle. He didn't go down in my book but he didn't move up either. It's a win and we'll take it."
A Florida-bred colt by More Than Ready
, Frisco Star cost Aleo $175,000, which is $35,000 more than he paid for Lost in the Fog.
It was a promising effort for the gelding Barber, who ran second in the Mill Valley Stakes behind El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) hopeful Cause to Believe.