01/16/2011 6:30PM

Santa Anita: Da Ruler da winner


Da Ruler, a well-hyped 3-year-old, won his debut in Sunday's fourth race at Santa Anita against an equally well-regarded first-time starter in Albergatti.

Da Ruler ($4.40), who was sent off favored, led early,  led by as much as a half-length on the turn, was caught by Albergatti in the stretch and then rallied along the rail to win by three-quarters of a length, finishing 6 1-2 furlongs in 1:14.42.

By Roman Ruler, Da Ruler set a quick pace of 21.67 and 43.76 seconds under jockey Mike Smith. Smith said that Da Ruler relinquished the lead in the stretch but that the colt responded when he switched leads in the stretch.

Albergatti finished 2 1-4 lengths in front of 6-1 Doubledown On Ten, another first-time starter, who was 7 1-4 lengths clear of fourth-place finisher Brannigan in the field of seven.

Da Ruler races for leading trainer Bob Baffert and breeders Karl Watson and Paul Weitman.

Albergatti, an Unbridled's Song colt, races for the partnership of Natrona Racing and Jess Jackson's Stonestreet Stable. Jackson, who campaigned Horses of the Year Curlin and Rachel Alexandra in recent years, was in attendance for the race. Albergatti is trained by Steve Asmussen. The colt's performance suggested that he would be effective around two turns.