10/17/2016 7:41AM

Bronze Star does his thing in Bull Dog Handicap


Everything went according to the script in the $54,275 Bull Dog Handicap on Sunday, as favored Bronze Star scored a wire-to-wire victory on closing day at the Big Fresno Fair and of the Northern California fair season.

Bronze Star used his speed to grab the lead, but he had to fend off challenges while racing a bit wide during the 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds and up. Three-year-old Touched by Autism tried to go with Bronze Star early, but began to give way after the opening quarter.

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Bronze Star had some breathing room down the backstretch before Kelly With a Twist loomed up, getting within a head after six furlongs. But Bronze Star began to inch away, opening a two-length lead in the lane.

He cruised home to score a 1 3/4 lengths over stablemate G. G. Ryder, the defending champ, who was 1 1/2 lengths in front of the tiring Kelly With a Twistin third. The winning time was 1:51.13 and Bronze Star paid $4.80.

Bronze Star, a $500,000 Keeneland yearling purchase in September 2013, is owned and trained by Jerry Hollendorfer. Bronze Star won the Oak Tree Handicap at the Oak Tree at Pleasanton meeting to open the fair season.

The 4-year-old Tapit colt earned $30,750 on Sunday to lift his career earnings to $159,180 with four victories in 14 starts.