01/23/2011 5:26PM

Santa Anita: Ronin Dax scores upset


Ronin Dax ($16.40) caught 3-5 favorite Ten Devils in the final sixteenth to win an optional claimer on turf for 3-year-olds in Sunday's second race.

The win assured trainer Robert Troeger that Ronin Dax's future is on turf, even though there is the temptation of trying a young 3-year-old on the Triple Crown trail.

Ronin Dax was third early and moved into a prominent position while wide in early stretch. The win ended a three-race losing streak in major stakes, including an eighth in the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park on Dec. 18. He wore blinkers for the first time on Sunday, finishing a mile in 1:35.70.

Runner-up Ten Devils led by a head at the eighth pole but could not sustain the advantage. Trainer Richard Mandella said the colt has shown a tendency in the past to ease himself when he reaches the front. "It's something we're going to have to work on," he said.