Updated on 09/17/2011 11:11AM

Bluesthestandard rises to occasion

Bluesthestandard ($6.40) is two lengths clear of longshot Joey Franco at the wire in Saturday's $134,000 Potrero Grande Breeders' Cup Handicap at Santa Anita.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Bluesthestandard, who won two races for $10,000 claimers last year, continued his remarkable ascendancy through the class ranks on Saturday with a victory in the $134,000 at Santa Anita.

Making his stakes debut, Bluesthestandard ran 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:14.86, finishing two lengths in front of 24-1 Joey Franco. Kona Gold, the 2000 champion sprinter, finished third. The 9-year-old Kona Gold was the 3-2 favorite and 121-pound highweight.

The Potrero Grande marked the 13th win in the 20-race career of Bluesthestandard, a Georgia-bred who began his career in the maiden claiming ranks. A 6-year-old, Bluesthestandard has been claimed five times in his career, most recently for $50,000 on Dec. 31 by his current connections of owner Jeffrey Sengara and trainer Ted H. West.

Carrying 115 pounds, Bluesthestandard was well placed throughout the Potrero Grande. Ridden by Mike Smith, Bluesthestandard stalked pacesetter Martel through an opening quarter-mile in 21.48 seconds and took the lead after a half-mile in 44.19 seconds.

Bluesthestandard was three-wide on the turn but had only Joey Franco as a threat in early stretch. The two were close until the eighth pole when Bluesthestandard pulled clear.

"When we got the lead at the quarter-pole, I knew we had a fight on our hands," Ted West, the trainer's father. "It's hard to get by this guy."

Joey Franco finished a half-length in front of Kona Gold, who was followed by Debonair Joe, D'Wildcat, FJ's Pace and Martel.

Bluesthestandard has earned $320,410. Since being claimed by Sengara, he has won three races, two of which were optional claimers, and $145,200.