Epidaurus held off the closing challenge of heavily favored Super Diamond Saturday for a nose victory in the 50th running of the $108,500 San Carlos Handicap at Santa Anita before a crowd of 30,113.
Super Diamond, carrying top weight of 125 pounds and beginning his campaign as an 8-year-old, came from last in the field of seven.
Epidaurus raced close to the early pace of Salt Dome, relinquished that spot to defending champion Zany Tactics in the stretch and then came on again to hold off Super Diamond.
Epidaurus, ridden by Patrick Valenzuela, returned $23, $6.80 and $3.60. Super Diamond, with jockey Corey Black aboard, paid $3.60 and $2.40, while Lord Ruckus, with Bill Shoemaker up, returned $2.60.
In scoring his eighth career win, Epidaurus was clocked in 1:22 for seven furlongs. The purse of $63,500 increased his earnings to $517,410 for owner Howard B. Keck, who bred the son of Ack Ack.