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SANTA ANITA

Pico Central Wins San Carlos at 43-1

March 08, 2004|Bob Mieszerski | Times Staff Writer

On a day of upsets at Santa Anita, the biggest was provided by 43-1 shot Pico Central in the $150,000 San Carlos Handicap.

Making his second start in this country after winning four of eight in his native Brazil, the 5-year-old son of Spend A Buck led every step of the way under jockey David Flores in the Grade II.

Trained by Paulo Lobo, who is best known for his work with Farda Amiga, the 3-year-old filly champion of 2002, Pico Central beat 5-1 third choice Publication by two lengths in 1:21.16 for the seven furlongs. It was the fastest San Carlos since Cherokee Run won in 1:20 3/5 in 1989.

This was the second win in as many starts in this country for Pico Central, whose owner Christina Garlipp made the trip with husband Luis from Rio de Janeiro for the race.

Pico Central didn't need help from the stewards for this victory. On Jan. 25, he crossed the wire second at 37-1 but moved up to first when original winner Ride And Shine was disqualified. "I saw his last race and he showed a lot of speed," said Flores. "I was just trying to get him relaxed. I got a good hold of him the first quarter of a mile, and that breather gave him a little help."

Like a lot of other short prices on the card, Bluesthestandard flopped. The 7-year-old gelding, who had won the Palos Verdes Handicap in his 2004 debut on Feb. 1, finished seventh as the 8-5 favorite.

"I really have no idea what happened," said Ted H. West, Bluesthestandard's trainer. "I haven't gone into a stakes race any more confident than I went in this time."

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