09/30/2011 4:20PM

Santa Anita: Hess claims winner


Deluxe Bus ($4.60), the half-length winner of Friday's first race of the Autumn meeting, was claimed by Bob Hess, Jr., for $25,000.

Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Deluxe Bus rallied wide in the stretch to catch pacesetter Chinese Praise, who was claimed in a three-way shake for $25,000 by Adam Kitchingman.

Friday's opening day is the first program of races since the track underwent a renovation in July to reduce clay content and add sand. The surface has been well-received by trainers in recent weeks, and by jockeys who rode the first race.

"It's like a normal dirt track," said jockey Joe Talamo, who finished fourth on Full Deputy. "They got over it really good."

Jockeys Joel Rosario and Martin Pedroza, who finished second and third, said their mounts handled the surface well.