Ten-year-old Men's Exclusive overtook heavy betting favorite Hombre Rapido entering the stretch and held off Golden Hare for a half-length victory Wednesday in the $79,040 classified allowance feature at Santa Anita Park.Ridden by Alex Solis at 118 pounds, Men's Exclusive ran six furlongs in 1:09.80 and paid $9.60, $4.20 and $9, ending an eight-race losing streak. Wesley Ward is the trainer for owner Gene Reed of Palm Springs.A California-bred gelding by Exclusive Ribot, Men's Exclusive became the first 10-year-old to win a race at the meeting. The venerable gelding, the betting favorite in the 1997 Breeders' Cup Sprint at Hollywood Park, broke his maiden at Santa Anita on March 16, 1996.
Golden Hare, Mike Smith riding at 118 pounds, finished strongly to take second place and returned $5.80 and $12. Ride And Shine, David Flores aboard at 118 pounds, rallied from last to finish third and paid $17.20 for show.Hombre Rapido, the 3-5 betting favorite, led through a half-mile in :44.46, but weakened after being challenged by Men's Exclusive turning for home. The favorite wound up fourth, a placing that produced large show prices for the top three finishers. Hombre Rapido accounted for $56,021 of the $70,562 wagered in the show pool.
Men's Exclusive's losing streak dated back to a victory in December 2001 Vernon O. Underwood Handicap (gr. III) at Hollywood Park. His overall mark is 11-16-3 from 44 starts with earnings of $1,433,528.(Chart, Equibase)