Updated on 05/15/2016 7:56PM

Ed Johnson stays perfect on turf in Alcatraz

Vassar Photography
Ed Johnson, with Russell Baze aboard, is now 3 for 3 on turf after winning the Alcatraz by 2 1/4 lengths.

Heavily favored Ed Johnson took the lead immediately and was never headed as he improved his record to 3 for 3 on turf with an easy victory in the $75,000 Alcatraz at Golden Gate Fields.

Ed Johnson, a 3-year-old Paddy O’Prado colt, was the only member of the five-horse field with a turf victory, and his two turf starts doubled the combined total turf tries of his four rivals.

Under Russell Baze, who also won Saturday’s Golden Poppy with Central Heat, Ed Johnson ($3) ran even quarters of 24.18 seconds, 23.22, 23.74, and 24.29 as he scored a 2 1/4-length victory over Pure Comedy, winning the one-mile turf test in 1:35.43.

Winning trainer Steve Specht told Baze he could sit off the pace if another runner wanted the lead, “but if they give it to us, take it.”

 Baze was surprised no one went with him.

“I’m sure happy they didn’t,” he said. “They just sat back and never pushed me. He was relaxed but set pretty decent fractions.”

Pure Comedy tried to make a move on the second turn, cutting Ed Johnson’s lead to 1 1/2 lengths before the winner spurted three lengths clear in the lane as He’s a Tiger stuck his head in front of Pure Comedy for second.

As Ed Johnson coasted home, Pure Comedy outdueled He’s a Tiger down the stretch and was a neck in front of him at the finish line as the five runners basically didn’t change position during the entire race.

Owned by Lewis Figone’s Frankfurt Stable and trained by Steve Specht, Ed Johnson earned $45,000 for his third win in five career starts. The $50,000 Keeneland yearling purchase has now won $81,010.

“He’s a nice colt, and, if I could ever get his feet healthy, he’ll be even better,” said Specht, who had to lay the colt off for more than six months after his maiden win because of a quarter crack. He said the colt has developed another smaller one but was able to race because he could patch that one.

“Now he’ll get another break, and we’ll look at the Robert Dupret Derby,” said Specht, referring to a race on turf Aug. 6 at Santa Rosa.