Updated on 09/17/2011 5:22PM

Calder: Sovereign Honor wires Needles

Jim Lisa
Soverign Honor notches the first stakes victory of his career in winning the $75,000 Needles Stakes at Calder on Saturday. He was ridden by Calder "Jockey of the Month," Manuel Aguilar.

MIAMI - Sovereign Honor lost the first 10 starts of his 3-year-old campaign but picked a good spot finally to find the winner's circle, leading throughout to post a 3 1/4-length victory in the $75,000 Needles Stakes at Calder.

Sovereign Honor had not seen the lead in any of his recent outings but was taken right to the front by jockey Manny Aguilar despite bumping with Quanaco after the start of the 1 1/16-mile Needles. Sovereign Honor set a relatively soft pace over a good turf course while pressed by the 2-1 favorite, Gin Rummy Champ. Sovereign Honor shook off Gin Rummy Champ entering the stretch and was not threatened after opening a long lead passing the eighth pole.

Cervelo, rated near mid-pack, came four wide off the final turn and outfinished Nightmare Affair by a head for second. Gin Rummy Champ weakened badly down the stretch and was sixth in a field of nine 3-year-old colts and geldings. Wire Bound, who would have likely started as the public's choice, was scratched.

Sovereign Honor, a son of Double Honor, paid $40.20 as the second-longest price in the field. Trained by Jose Pinchin for owner James Chin, he covered the distance in 1:44.50.

"I asked the jock to go to the front today, and he liked the soft going," said Pinchin. "He's run well against a lot of these horses before and should have won his last start. Today was his day."