03/20/2016 7:37PM

Elliott's career revival gets boost from Iron Rob in San Pedro

Benoit & Associates
Iron Rob, with Stewart Elliott aboard, scores a 9-1 upset in the San Pedro for 3-year-old sprinters.

ARCADIA, Calif. – After being idle for 14 months, jockey Stewart Elliott is back riding, and he got his biggest win since returning when guiding Iron Rob to a 9-1 upset victory in the $79,695 San Pedro Stakes for 3-year-old sprinters on Sunday at Santa Anita.

 Elliott – best known for nearly winning the Triple Crown with Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Smarty Jones in 2004 -- came to Del Mar in the summer of 2014, backed by trainer Mark Casse. They did well, but then Elliott was kicked by a horse in the stable area one morning, fracturing ribs. He missed the rest of the meet, and when he tried to come back at Keeneland that fall, “my ribs were still bothering me,” he said Sunday.

 He had relocated to Kentucky from New Jersey, and took all of last year off, running a hunting business with trainer Tevis McCauley. Re-energized, he returned to Southern California and began riding at the current Santa Anita meeting.

 “I had met a lot of people here, a lot of the trainers, and liked it and wanted to come back,” Elliott said Sunday.

 In the six-furlong San Pedro, Iron Rob ($21.80) dueled with He’s a Tiger through fractions of 21.91 seconds for the quarter-mile and 44.55 for a half, then kicked away in upper stretch and was never threatened by 2-5 favorite Denman’s Call, who ran on for second while falling 1 1/2 lengths shy.

 Iron Rob covered six furlongs on the fast main track in 1:09.05.

 Denman’s Call finished 2 1/4 lengths in front of third-place Mt. Veeder. Gold Rush Dancer was fourth and was followed, in order, by He’s a Tiger and Boldly True.

 Toews On Ice was scratched Sunday morning after having to be treated for a minor touch of colic on Friday, according to his trainer, Bob Baffert.

Iron Rob has won three of his last four starts and has provided two wins this meet for the suddenly resurgent trainer George Papaprodromou, who has won with 10 of 52 starts this year after going 9 for 166 last year.

 Iron Rob, by Twirling Candy, has won 3 of 10 starts. He is owned by the Kretz Racing LLC of Rustin and Juliana Kretz.