Updated on 09/18/2011 12:46AM

A.P. Warrior takes La Jolla

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A.P. Warrior, David Flores up, battles Porto Santo (left) in the stretch to win the $150,000 La Jolla Handicap at Del Mar on Saturday.

DEL MAR, Calif. - A.P. Warrior won his turf debut in Saturday's $150,000 at Del Mar, scoring the most hard-fought win of his career.

Ridden by David Flores, A.P. Warrior ($13) had an ideal trip, but was forced to battled through the stretch with a resilient Porto Santo, the 6-5 favorite. Porto Santo closed from sixth with a wide rally to reach contention, but could not get past A.P. Warrior.

Porto Santo never appeared to take the lead. The two ran as a team through the final sixteenth with A.P. Warrior, winning by a nose and finishing 1 1-16 miles in 1:40.71. Get Funky, who set an early pace of 23.64 and 48.17 seconds, finished third in the field of seven 3-year-olds.

A.P. Warrior has won 4 of 12 starts and $530,595 for owner Stan Fulton. The Grade 2 La Jolla Handicap was his second stakes win; he won the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita in March in his first start for trainer John Shirreffs. A.P. Warrior finished 18th in the Kentucky Derby in May.