02/04/2011 8:23PM

Santa Anita: Regally Ready rolls


Earlier in the week, trainer Steve Asmussen thought that Regally Ready would benefit from the experience of a third-place finish in the Grade 3 Daytona Handicap on the hillside turf course earlier this year, the gelding's first start on the course.

Even Asmussen could not have expected the dynamic performance that Regally Ready provided in Friday's seventh race, an allowance race on the hillside course and the gelding's second start on the course. Regally Ready pulled clear before the crossing and won by 3 1-4 lengths, finishing about 6 1-2 furlongs in 1:12.42.

Regally Ready, who was ridden by Corey Nakatani, survived a claim of foul from Patrick Valenzuela, who rode fourth-place finisher Sayif, alleging interference on the hillside. The stewards disallowed the claim after a six-minute review, stating that Matto Mondo, who was running in second-place at the time, caused the trouble. Matto Mondo faded to finish fifth.

Regally Ready ($5) has won 4 of 10 starts. The Daytona was his stakes debut. Friday's race was his first win since an allowance race over five furlongs on turf at Churchill Downs in November.

The second and third-place finishers - Gallant Son and Rendezvous - ran well, considering they were both returning from layoffs. Gallant Son had not started since finishing sixth as a 5-2 choice in the Grade 3 Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs last August. Rendezvous had not run since a seventh-place finish in the Grade 1 Charles Whittingham Handicap at Hollywood Park last June.