Hopeful Word, ridden by Chris McCarron, prevailed in a stretch duel with Epidaurus to win the $132,150 Cabrillo Handicap by three-quarters of a length Wednesday at Del Mar.
Epidaurus, ridden by Bill Shoemaker, finished second, 4 1/2 lengths in front of longshot Attention, ridden by Gary Stevens. Heavily favored Nostalgia's Star, ridden by Fernando Toro, finished fourth in a field of 10.
Hopeful Word, a 5-year-old son of Verbatim trained by Richard Mandella, earned $132,150 for the victory. He was clocked in 1:46 2/5 for 1 1/8 miles over a fast main track.
Sent off the 5-2 second choice, Hopeful Word paid $7.20, $4.20 and $4.20. Epidaurus returned $4.20 and $3.80 and Attention, a 38-1 shot, paid $8 to show.
Skywalker was scratched from the Cabrillo because he is scheduled to run in the Longacres Mile Sunday.