08/15/2012 7:48PM

Del Mar: Shrug gets the trip in Green Flash

Benoit & Associates
Shrug gets up on the inside under Victor Espinoza to win the Green Flash on Wednesday at Del Mar.

DEL MAR, Calif. - Shrug, making his first start at five furlongs on turf, won his first stakes in Wednesday’s $93,600 Green Flash Handicap at Del Mar.

Ridden by Victor Espinoza, Shrug ($21.40) finished a nose in front of 8-5 Lakerville in the field of seven. Sirocco Strike, a 6-1 shot, finished a neck behind Lakerville in third, and was a head in front of 7-5 favorite Koast. Koast was third with a furlong remaining but could not sustain the rally.

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A 4-year-old colt by Medaglia d’Oro, Shrug was timed in 56 seconds, winning for the fourth time in his 15th start. Owned by Swift Thoroughbreds and trained by Carla Gaines, Shrug has earned $190,380.

Breaking from the rail, Shrug was on the inside for much of the race, and the ground-saving trip was key to victory, Espinoza said. Shrug emerged between Koast and leader Silver Summation in early stretch to reach the front in the final furlong.

“It was a chance to take, especially going five-eighths,” Espinoza said of staying inside. “They were rolling in front. Finally, the horse in front got tired and I had room to get through on the inside.”