04/16/2011 6:54PM

Santa Anita: Tough trip for 'Soldier'


California Soldier, the 6-5 favorite, was an unlucky second in Saturday's seventh race. Ridden by Joe Talamo, California Soldier raced behind the pacesetters to early stretch, and was in traffic at a pivotal time with a furlong remaining. Talamo finally urged California Soldier to the outside and the 4-year-old gelding closed well to finish a half-length behind Cardiff Giant ($16), who is trained by Jorge Periban.

Cardiff Giant (Brice Blanc) ran a mile on turf in 1:35.02. A 4-year-old gelding, Cardiff Giant was second in the Grade 2 San Rafael Stakes in 2010 but was off the Kentucky Derby trail after finishing 10th in the Santa Anita Derby. He was claimed from Periban and then owner M Racing last May by Robertino Diodoro, and then claimed back by Periban on Feb. 13. Saturday's race was Cardiff Giant's second start for Periban and new owner Stephen Campbell.

California Soldier was claimed in a two-way shake for $40,000 by Bob Hess, Jr.