05/06/2011 4:37PM

Alysheba: First Dude nails Regal Ransom on the wire

Tom Keyser
First Dude just gets up to win his first stakes in the Alysheba.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Here’s something that has never been written before: First Dude is on a winning streak.

After winning just once in his first 14 starts, First Dude won his second straight race Friday and first stakes event with a furious rally down the center of the track under Martin Garcia to nip Regal Ransom by a nose at the wire to take the Grade 3, $300,000 Alysheba Stakes at Churchill Downs. It was one-half length back to Equestrio in third.

As a 3-year-old First Dude finished second or third in five graded stakes, including a runner-up finish in the Preakness and a third-place showing in the Belmont Stakes. He was also third in the Travers and second, beaten a neck, in the Pennsylvania Derby.

After finishing fourth in the Sunshine Millions Classic, owner Donald Dizney transferred First Dude from Dale Romans to Bob Baffert. After finishing sixth in the Santa Anita Handicap, First Dude dropped back into allowance company to win by 2 1/2 lengths.

In the Alysheba, First Dude was fifth early, about six lengths off the pace, as Wise Dan set fractions of 23.56 seconds, 47.49, and 1:11.95 while being chased by Regal Ransom, under Alan Garcia. Regal Ransom took the lead just before the quarter pole and maintained a narrow advantage through the lane as several runners came to him. First Dude had to come five wide turning for home, but under a relentless right-hand from Garcia he kept coming and was able to get to the front one jump before the wire.

First Dude, a son of Stephen Got Even, covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.56 and returned $9.20 to win.