05/07/2017 9:00PM

Go Max pulls upset in Hasta La Vista Handicap

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Go Max, under Scott Stevens, wins for the first time on turf in the Hasta La Vista Handicap.

PHOENIX  – Go Max’s first win on grass was timely as the son of War Pass rallied to capture the $30,000 Hasta La Vista Handicap at Turf Paradise on Sunday. The long-distance grass event at 1 7/8 miles  is the traditional closing-day feature and it brought down the curtain on the track’s 61st season.

Go Max ($25,80), owned by Doug Blair and trained by Debbie O’Brien, had never run on turf until coming here a few months ago, finishing fifth in an allowance event here March 20 and then a sharp second on April 10. Not only was he stepping up in class but moving to a much longer trip. It didn’t matter. Under Scott Stevens the 6-year-old Go Max  bided his time mid-pack early as Blue Bomber, the 2-5 favorite, set a modest pace. Go Max steadily advanced during the long race, came with his run in the lane, and was able to wear down Blue Bomber and edge past to win by half a length. Blue Bomber held second, 1 1/4 lengths in front of rallying 5-2 second choice Sir Searsucker in the field of eight.

Go Max ran the distance in 3:11.42. The winner’s share of $18,042 gives him a bankroll of $138,538 from four wins in 33 starts.

Racing returns to the Phoenix track in October.

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