08/16/2012 4:53PM

Del Mar: Shrug finds his spot, may be headed for Santa Anita hillside

Benoit & Associates
Shrug, with Victor Espinoza riding, wins the Green Flash Handicap.

DEL MAR, Calif. - In his 15th career start, Shrug may have found his career niche with a win in Wednesday’s $93,600 Green Flash Handicap – racing in turf sprints.

Trainer Carla Gaines said on Thursday that Shrug could start in races on Santa Anita’s hillside turf course this fall when racing shifts to that venue in late September.

“I’ve kind of always wanted to try Shrug down the hill,” Gaines said. “It never really worked out. We tried him a mile on turf and it didn’t work out. I can’t say that was a complete study of him on the turf.”

In Wednesday’s Green Flash, Shrug ($21.40) stalked the pace for the first three furlongs, rallied between rivals in the stretch and won by a nose over 8-5 Lakerville. Ridden by Victor Espinoza, Shrug ran five furlongs in 56 seconds.

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Shrug has won four races and $190,380, all for Swift Thoroughbreds. The Green Flash was his first stakes win.

One obvious goal for the Santa Anita autumn meeting would be the $100,000 Eddie D Stakes over about 6 /2 furlongs on the hillside turf course on Sept. 28. The Eddie D Stakes is a prep for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint on Nov. 3.