Sarafan Looks Like Old Self in Escondido

Gary A. Tanaka's veteran stakes campaigner Sarafan showed his class Wednesday with a decisive victory in the featured $79,000 Escondido Handicap at the marathon distance of 1 3/8 miles on the grass at Del Mar.

Packing highweight of 121 pounds and piloted by Corey Nakatani, Sarafan came on in the stretch to defeat 9-1 shot Gene de Campeao by 1 1/2 lengths. Outta Here, another length back, finished third.

Trained by Neil Drysdale, Sarafan, a 7-year-old gelded son of Lear Fan, accomplished the distance in 2:12 4/5. Coupled in the wagering with Pellegrino, also owned by Tanaka, Sarafan returned $3.40 after his tenth victory in 42 career starts.

Sarafan, who ended a six-race losing streak, increased his lifetime earnings to $2,488,671. Among his stakes successes was the Eddie Read Handicap (gr. IT) two summers ago at Del Mar.

(Chart, Equibase)