With odds-on favorite Malabar Gold fading to finish out of the money, there were some larger than usual show prices for Monday's San Simeon Handicap, the Santa Anita Park closing-day feature won by Lake William. In the other stakes on the program, Starrer posted her first career victory in the Santa Paula Stakes on the program.
Lake William overtook Malabar Gold in mid-stretch and went on to a half-length victory in the $125,000 San Simeon. Lake William ran about 6-1/2 furlongs in 1:12.34 on a firm turf course and paid $21.40, $11.80 and $22.80. Ridden by Victor Espinoza for trainer Richard Mandella, the winner is a 5-year-old Kentucky-bred by Salt Lake who races for Jerry and Ann Moss.
Macward finished second and returned $7.80 and $18.40, while Touch of the Blues paid $17.40 to show. The large show prices were a result of Malabar Gold, the 2-5 favorite that accounted for nearly 90 percent of the show pool, finishing out of the money in fourth.
"The favorite got to the lead too easy but I didn't worry about that because I had a lot of horse," Espinoza said. "Richard (Mandella) told me he wanted to try something different today. He said, 'As soon as you cross the dirt (entering the stretch), let him run.' So I listened to him, and it worked. Sometimes the trainers are right."
Lake William has four wins and two placings in10 starts and has earned $175,155.
Also on the card, 13-1 shot Starrer posted her first career victory in the In the $85,900 Santa Paula Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.
A Kentucky-bred daughter of Dynaformer, Starrer was timed in 1:16.46 for 6 1/2-furlongs on a fast main track and paid $28.20, $10.20 and $3.60. Trained by David Hofmans for George Krikorian, Starrer has one win in five starts and earned $85,888. The win gave jockey Chris McCarron a meet-high 15th stakes victory and career win No. 6,997.
"I don't know the reason they even ran a maiden in stake, but I'm certainly glad they did," McCarron said. "I was named on her in a maiden race the other day and I was disappointed she scratched. Now I'm not so disappointed."
Racing's all-time leading rider, Laffit Pincay Jr. became the oldest jockey to win a Santa Anita winter/spring meeting. The 54-year-old rider won 73 races at the 83-day meet. Trainer Bob Baffert won his fifth straight winter/spring title with 44 wins.