01/08/2011 7:26PM

Aggie Engineer makes it three in a row by taking San Pasqual

Aggie Engineer, under Joe Talamo, proves much the best in the San Pasqual.

ARCADIA, Calif. -- It took until the end of his 5-year-old year for Aggie Engineer to finally win a stakes race, but the way he ran on Saturday, in the Grade 2, $150,000 San Pasqual Stakes at Santa Anita, there could be plenty more to come. In what has to rank as his best performance yet, Aggie Engineer romped to a 3 1/4-length victory after patiently waiting in third, something he was incapable of doing early in his career.

This, though, is the new, improved Aggie Engineer. He sits, he finishes, and he wins. The San Pasqual marked his third straight victory, following an allowance win at the Oak Tree meeting at Hollywood Park and the Native Diver, his first stakes win, on Dec. 4.

In the San Pasqual, Aggie Engineer ($5.40), the favorite, allowed Red Door Drive to jet off to a long lead, and let Ryehill Dreamer burn himself up trying to take up the chase. When jockey Joe Talamo gave him his cue, Aggie Engineer rolled past those leaders and opened plenty of daylight between he and the three others in the race. He was never in danger through the final furlong during while covering 1 1/16 miles on the fast main track in 1:40.94.

Spurrier rallied for second, just as he did in the Native Diver, with Quindici Man third. Dakota Phone, the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner, finished fifth in the six-horse field.

“I thought his last race was his best race, but this was better,” said Paddy Gallagher, who trains Aggie Engineer. “He’s gotten it together. Since the summer, he’s been training well.”

Aggie Engineer, a gelding by E Dubai, was bred and is owned by Ward and Roberta Williford. He has now won 7 times in 17 starts. Gallagher said Aggie Engineer’s major goal this meet is now the Grade 1, $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap on March 5. A bridge to get there could be the Grade 2, $150,000 San Antonio Stakes on Feb. 6, which is four weeks after the San Pasqual and four weeks in front of the Big Cap.