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Premier Pegasus wins San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita

With the win over favorite Jaycito, Premier Pegasus becomes a top Kentucky Derby prospect.

March 12, 2011|Staff and Wire Reports
  • Premier Pegasus and jockey Alonso Quinonez, left, win the San Felipe Stakes by more than seven lengths Saturday at Santa Anita.
Premier Pegasus and jockey Alonso Quinonez, left, win the San Felipe Stakes… (Associated Press / Benoit…)

Premier Pegasus trounced the Bob Baffert-trained favorite Jaycito and eight other 3-year-olds by more than seven lengths in the San Felipe Stakes on Saturday at Santa Anita, announcing himself as a hot Kentucky Derby prospect and throwing wide open the West Coast field of Triple Crown contenders.

Ridden by Alonso Quinonez for trainer Myung Cho and racing longer than a mile for the first time, Premier Pegasus was seventh in the early going but made a huge move on the second turn, pulling away to win by a stakes-record 73/4 lengths and covering 1 1/16 miles in 1 minute 41.23 seconds.

The Kentucky-bred son of 2000 Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus had won his first three starts including the Hollywood Prevue Stakes but finished third in the Feb. 20 San Vicente Stakes. Cho indicated that the colt's next start would be in the $1-million Santa Anita Derby on April 9.

Longshot Miss Match rallied to edge heavy favorite Switch by a head to win the $300,000 Santa Margarita Invitational for fillies and mares.

Trainer John Sadler's star filly Switch and jockey Joel Rosario had a near-perfect trip, but Neil Drysdale's Miss Match and rider Garrett Gomez came from fifth at the top of the stretch to score the narrow upset, covering 11/8 miles on dirt in 1:47.33. Miss Match, a 6-year-old mare bred in Argentina and owned by Matthew Cloros, paid $92.40 to win.

90-year-old paddock guard shields girl

A 90-year-old paddock guard at Santa Anita thrust himself in front of a young girl trying to protect her from a loose horse before the third race in an act captured live on the track's in-house television feed.

John Shear, a former jockey, was injured when Sea And Sage, a 3-year-old gelding, collided with him. Shear received medical attention from on-site first-aid personnel and by the Arcadia Fire Department before he was taken to Huntington Memorial Hospital. A track spokesman said he did not know the extent of the injuries.

The young girl was not injured.

Shear was in his usual position holding a rope on the west entrance of the track's walking ring. The horse got away from his handler and sprinted toward the opening Shear was guarding. Shear ran in front of the horse and on top of the young girl in the crowd.

The Associated Press and Times staff writer Eric Sondheimer contributed to this report.

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