Pacesetter A B Noodle Romps in Yerba Buena

A B Noodle disposed of pace rival Hippogator on the turn and cruised to a front-running three-length victory in the $113,750 Yerba Buena Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr.IIIT) on the Bay Meadows turf Saturday.

The Charles Jenda-trained 5-year-old Alphabet Soup mare responded when roused by jockey Joey Castro in the stretch and held off Marwood, who was two lengths in front of Hooked On Niners.The time for the 1 1/8-mile test was 1:46 3/5 on a firm course.

A B Noodle, starting from the inside post in the field of six, showed good speed away from the gate and held a slight lead over Hippogator through fractions of :23 4/5, :47 4/5 and 1:12 1/5. As Hippogator, who defeated Marwood, Hooked On Niners and A B Noodle in the 1 1/16-mile Miss America Handicap at Bay Meadows, backed out of it, A B Noodle opened up a 3 1/2-length advantage with a furlong to go and won under steady handling.

Irish-bred Arabic Song, the 9-10 favorite ridden by Brice Blanc for trainer Neil Drysdale, lacked speed and was never a factor, finishing fourth.

A B Noodle won for the seventh time in 19 starts while earning $68,750 for owners Amity and Bench. She has banked $279,735 in her career.

Adena Springs bred the winner in Kentucky.

Sent off as the fifth choice, A B Noodle paid $16.20, $8.20 and $6.80. Marwood, ridden by Ron Warren, returned $7 and $6.20. Hooked On Niners, Russell Baze aboard, showed for $3.60. The exacta was worth $82.80.

(Chart, Equibase)