07/20/2013 9:42PM

Del Mar: Jeranimo comes from far back to take Eddie Read

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Benoit & Associates
Jeranimo, ridden by Rafael Bejarano, draws clear to win the Grade 1 Eddie Read by 1 1/2 lengths.

DEL MAR, Calif. - Last of nine on the first turn, Jeranimo trailed by 15 lengths in the first half-mile of Saturday’s Grade 1, $300,000 Eddie Read Stakes at Del Mar, a position that was little concern to co-owner B.J. Wright.

As Fed Biz and Slim Shadey set quick fractions of 23.22 and 46.23 seconds, Wright said he thought jockey Rafael Bejarano had made the right decision to keep Jeranimo well off the pace.

“I thought he’d win,” Wright said.

The rest of the viewing audience may not have shared his opinion until the final furlong when Jeranimo roared home with a wide rally to win the seventh stakes of his career.

Sent off favored, Jeranimo ($7.80) was timed in 1:45.80 for 1 1/8 miles on turf, finishing 1 1/2 lengths in front of the 23-1 outsider Vagabond Shoes. Fly Lexis Fly, a 37-1 shot who was supplemented for $3,000 last Wednesday, finished third after leading with a furlong remaining.

Fed Biz survived the speed duel to finish fourth, followed by Barocci, Cogito, Middle, Slim Shadey, and Sofast, the 3-1 second choice.

The Read was the first win for the 7-year-old Jeranimo since the Grade 2 San Gabriel Stakes at Santa Anita in January. He finished seventh on a wet turf course in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs on May 4 and was fourth in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile at Betfair Hollywood Park on June 30.

“I think that last race set him up for this,” Wright said.

Even though Jeranimo was favored in the Read, trainer Mike Pender defended the horse’s record following the recent losses.

 “It feels surreal to say that he redeemed himself,” Pender said. “He had nothing to prove.

“When there is speed, he is able to shine. He’s pretty versatile. He can sit off the pace or come from behind.”

The victory was worth $180,000 for Wright and co-owner Robert LaPenta. Jeranimo has won 10 of 35 starts and $1,400,864.

In the winner’s circle, Wright and Pender said Jeranimo could start in the $1 million Arlington Million on turf at Arlington Park on Aug. 17 or the $1 million Pacific Classic here on the main track on Aug. 25.

Jeranimo was eighth in the Pacific Classic in 2011, his most recent start on a surface other than turf.