Updated on 09/17/2011 10:14PM

El Don captures California Turf Championship

Bill Vass
El Don wins the $100,000 California Turf Championship at Bay Meadows on Monday.

SAN MATEO, Calif. - El Don ($4.80) took back at the break and unleashed a four-wide rally approaching the quarter pole, pulling away to an easy three-length victory over pacesetting Shadow Raider in the $100,000 at Bay Meadows on Monday.

The 4-year-old gelding, making only his second start on turf, remained undefeated on the grass after a win at Del Mar in his previous start.

First Rate Event hopped at the start and came in, but El Don was not seriously bothered as jockey Russell Baze was already taking him back.

El Don was last down the backstretch as Shadow Raider set a comfortable pace in the one-mile race for Cal-breds.

El Don began to move up on the second turn, swinging four wide as he quickly began to gobble up the field. He was still three lengths behind Shadow Raider but clearly had the momentum and breezed past the leader to win in 1:36.48.

"He's just a neat horse, an easy horse to be around," winning trainer Marty Jones said. "It took us a while to figure him out.

"If you let him do his thing the first quarter or three-eighths, if you push him early, he'll do what you want. I don't see him getting back on the dirt any time soon."

Winning jockey Russell Baze said El Don relaxed almost too much. "I had to chirp to him to get him going down the backstretch," he said.

The victory, worth $55,000, was El Don's fifth in 16 starts. He has now earned $259,306.