Updated on 09/17/2011 9:01PM

Consolidator best in San Felipe

Email
Horsephotos
Consolidator wins the San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita on Saturday.

ARCADIA, Calif. - This time, D. Wayne Lukas got it right.

Lukas blamed himself for having Consolidator unprepared for his 3-year-old debut in last month's San Vicente Stakes, but a more aggressive training regimen left Consolidator ready for a breakout performance in the Grade 2, $250,000 on Saturday at Santa Anita.

Racing over a wet-fast track that flattered front-runners all afternoon, Consolidator disposed of pace rival Lucky J.H. after six furlongs and then drew off impressively under jockey Rafael Bejarano for a 6 1/2-length score over Giacomo. Don't Get Mad was third, Wilko fourth, and Roman Ruler last in the field of eight.

Rain fell at Santa Anita on Friday and into Saturday. The track was sealed, and though it was cut open through the day, times were universally fast, and it was difficult for late runners to make any impact. Consolidator sped the 1 1/16 miles in 1:40.11, a stakes record. His margin of victory was also a stakes record.

"I did a bad job getting him ready the first time," Lukas said in the winner's circle. "He was a pampered kid, a pampered athlete. I didn't do much. Fortunately, it was correctable. If they can't run, that's when you're in trouble. We're on our way now."

Consolidator ($16.40) sat just off Lucky J.H. through fractions of 23.44 seconds, 46.02 seconds, and 1:09.74 for the first six furlongs. Roman Ruler, who had been expected to be near the lead, broke in a tangle, took up a furlong into the race, and was never a factor. Golden Shine, who also could have been part of the pace, also was bounced around in traffic heading into the first turn. Wilko was fanned four paths wide heading into the first turn.

Giacomo, Wilko, and Don't Get Mad all closed in on the final turn, as Lucky J.H. began to fade, but then Consolidator spurned all challengers and drew clear.

"The real Consolidator showed up today," Lukas said.

Lukas trains Consolidator for Bob and Beverly Lewis, who purchased the 3-year-old Storm Cat colt as a yearling for $1.25 million. Consolidator has now won three times in nine starts. His biggest victory last year came in the Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland. Lukas said Consolidator likely would return to Keeneland for the .

"It gives us an extra week," Lukas said, comparing it to the April 9 Santa Anita Derby, "and he has an affinity for that track."