Updated on 09/17/2011 10:48AM

Affluent moves from last to first

Affluent with Alex Solis up defeats Sightseek in the Santa Monica Handicap Saturday at Santa Anita Park.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Affluent closed from last to win the fourth Grade 1 race of her career in Saturday's $200,000 at Santa Anita.

Ridden by Alex Solis, Affluent ($7) challenged the heavily favored Sightseek in early stretch, and won by a half-length, finishing seven furlongs in 1:22.17.

Secret of Mecca, a 30-1 longshot, finished third in the field of seven fillies and mares.

Affluent was at the back of the field early, well behind Live Free or Die who set an early pace of 22.13 and 44.66 seconds. Solis guided Affluent through traffic in early stretch to reach contention in midstretch.

Owned by Janis Whitham and trained by Ron McAnally, Affluent carried top weight of 119 pounds. A 5-year-old, she has won 8 of 20 starts and $1,433,415. She won the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup and La Brea Stakes as a 3-year-old in 2001 and the Grade 1 Ramona Handicap last August.

The Santa Monica Handicap was her first start on dirt since last June. For the first half of 2002, Affluent chased Azeri, finishing behind the Horse of the Year hopeful in four consecutive major races.

* Vindication, the leading candidate for champion 2-year-old male of 2002, worked five furlongs in 58.40 seconds on Saturday, the first time that jockey Jerry Bailey had been aboard the unbeaten colt.

The time was the fastest of 57 recorded works at the distance. Working in company with stablemate Oration, Vindication started from the rail, ran in company to the eighth pole, and pulled clear to lead by a length.

Friday, trainer Bob Baffert said that Bailey would replace Mike Smith aboard Vindication in upcoming races. Baffert has yet to state where Vindication will make his 3-year-old debut.