Pesci Still Perfect, Wins at Santa Anita

Pesci, the 3-year-old filly owned by Academy Award-winning actor Joe Pesci, is beginning to attract a following of her own. She won the second race of her short career Sunday at Santa Anita, topping a $60,368 allowance optional claiming field by five lengths.

The daughter of Stormy Atlantic, also owned by Wesley Ward, who trains her, won her maiden special weight debut Nov. 27 at Hollywood Park by 8 1/2 lengths.

Pesci was the 13-10 favorite in a field of seven fillies and mares and completed the 1 1/16-mile event in 1:43 1/5 with Mike Smith in the irons. Smith was also aboard for the first start.

Pesci, the owner, won an Oscar for a supporting role in the 1990 movie, "Goodfellas," and has been a lifelong horseracing fan. This is his first ownership interest.

The filly was greeted in the winner's circle by a huge contingent that included Pesci and dozens of friends.

Breaking from the rail, Pesci pulled early before settling down and easing toward the outside. Down the backstretch, she moved up to engage the pacesetter The Candy Queen on the final turn. Pesci took over at the quarter pole and drew away without urging.

She paid $4.60, $4 and $3.

A $140,000 Ocala buy in April 2002, Pesci was bred in Florida by Arthur Appleton. She is from the dam Tricky Sacrifice, by Pleasant Colony.

(Chart, Equibase)