Updated on 09/18/2011 1:57AM

Cindago upsets in El Cajon

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Cindago with Corey Nakatani up (right) defeats Bob and John with Victor Espinoza up in the El Cajon Stakes on Saturday at Del Mar.

DEL MAR, Calif. - Cindago's career was put on hold with a knee injury at the end of last year, but he came back roaring on Saturday to post an upset win in the $106,300 at the expense of heavily favored Brother Derek, the Santa Anita Derby winner, who turned in a dull effort while finishing fourth in a five-horse field.

Cindago ($10.80), ridden by Corey Nakatani, outdueled Wood Memorial winner Bob and John after a spirited stretch run to prevail by a half-length in 1:36.51 for one mile on the fast main track. Da Stoops was another five lengths back in third, with Brother Derek a half-length behind Da Stoops. Mr. Katz trailed.

Alex Solis, the jockey on Brother Derek, could not offer any excuse for the 2-5 favorite, other than being a little rusty off the bench.

"He was fresh the whole way, and he got a little tired," Solis said.

Cindago had not raced since Dec. 26, when he defeated a strong field of maidens in his second lifetime start. He always had been held in high regard, so much so that trainer John Sadler skipped a first-level allowance condition to go straight into the El Cajon off an eight-month layoff.

"He came back really well. It looks like we'll have some fun with this horse," said Sadler, who said Cindago had an issue with his right knee at the end of last year.

"There was no fracture, no chip, but we could see we were headed that way if we went on with him during the winter," Sadler said.

Cindago, 3, is a son of Indian Charlie. He was purchased for $900,000 in March 2005 at the Barretts sale of 2-year-olds in training by Lee and Jerry Searing's CRK Stable. Sadler said a race like the Indiana Derby might be an appropriate next spot for Cindago.