03/05/2011 3:54PM

Santa Anita: Wilburn shines in debut


Wilburn, a first-time starter trained by Steve Asmussen, won his debut in convincing style in Saturday's second race.

Helped by a quick pace of 21.27 and 43.73 seconds, Wilburn stalked the pace to the turn and rallied three-wide to reach the front in early stretch. Ridden by Mike Smith, Wilburn pulled clear late and won by 3 1-4 lengths over 11-1 Purely Awesome, finishing 6 1-2 furlongs in a quick 1:13.95. Chico d'Oro, the 3-5 favorite, set the pace, but faded to finish third, losing by 5 1-2 lengths.

Wilburn races for Jess Jackson's Stonestreet Stable and was purchased for $625,000 at the Keeneland April Sale of 2-year-olds in-training last year. Wilburn is by Bernardini out of the Grade 3 Moonlight Sonata, a mare by Carson City. Wilburn is a half-brother to Beethoven, the winner of the Grade 3 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs in 2008.