01/14/2012 3:52PM

Aqueduct: San Pablo scores as 1-9 favorite in Shots Are Ringing

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
San Pablo pulls clear under Cornelio Velasquez to take the Shots Are Ringing.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Cornelio Velasquez said it was easier than it looked.

Sent off an overwhelming 1-9 favorite, San Pablo had to work hard to fend off Isn’t He Perfect approaching the stretch before drawing clear to a 4 3/4-length victory in Saturday’s $75,000 Shots Are Ringing Stakes at Aqueduct. Isn’t He Perfect finished second by 1 1/2 lengths over Sam Sparkle. C V Eis was last. Rustler Hustler and Socialsaul scratched.

It was the third consecutive victory and fifth in seventh career starts for San Pablo, a 4-year-old son of Jump Start owned by Burning Sands Stable and trained by Todd Pletcher.

San Pablo, eager to go to the front, stalked C V Eis through the opening quarter of 24.27 seconds before taking the lead early on down the backside. He was headed by Isn’t He Perfect leaving the five-sixteenths pole, but with a couple of cracks of Velasquez’s left-handed whip, San Pablo drew clear. He covered a mile and 70 yards in 1:41.06 and returned $2.20 to win.

“I had a lot of horse at the three-eighths pole,’’ Velasquez said. “The horse outside, he put some pressure on me but I had a lot of horse. He win easy.’’

Michael McCarthy, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher, said San Pablo has a tendency to wait on horses.

“On paper, it looked like he was a standout, at the five-sixteenths pole it looked like he could be in a little bit of hot water but he was able to pull it off.’’