01/02/2011 6:49PM

Santa Anita: Red Defense stays perfect


Red Defense remained unbeaten after four starts with a late rally to win an allowance race on the hillside turf course in Sunday's fourth race.

Red Defense ($7) won the first leg of a pick six that attracted a pool of $681,958. There was a carryover of $120,598 going into Sunday's program. Red Defense was a slight second choice behind Blue Jay Attack, who never figured prominently and finished eighth.

Ridden by Joel Rosario, Red Defense closed from 10th in a field of 11 to win by a neck over 9-1 Pack Your Bags, who finished a neck in front of 6-1 Sterling Outlook. Red Defense was seventh with a furlong remaining and led for only the last stride or two at the wire.

"I didn't think he could win from that far back," trainer Carla Gaines said. "I think he was confused early and when he crossed the dirt he kicked it in."

The late rally left owner-breeder John Harris impressed. "It's pretty amazing," he said. "I would have settled for fourth at the eighth pole. We never thought he'd win four in a row.

Red Defense made his turf debut on Sunday, having won his first three starts in sprints at Hollywood Park in October and November.