07/02/2005 12:00AM

Hastings: R. Associate rolls late


R. Associate ($12.70) received a perfect ride from leading rider Pedro Alvarado to win the Grade 3, $128,265 Lieutenant Governors' Handicap at Hastings.

R. Associate broke sharply and settled in behind pacesetter Five Point Star and Roscoe Pito in the 1 1/8-mile race. Five Point Star set moderate early fractions of 22.83 seconds, 47.30, and 1:12.12 before Roscoe Pito took over the lead at the quarter pole. Roscoe Pito, who was ridden by Jake Barton, looked like he might win the race when he opened up a 1 1/2-length lead at the top of the stretch. But under a vigorous hand ride by Alvarado, R. Associate rallied strongly in the stretch to win by a length over Roscoe Pito. Quiet Cash rallied late to finish third as the 2-1 favorite. Final time over the fast track was 1:48.94.

"I couldn't ask for a better trip," said Alvarado. "And that was a pretty strong move he made in the stretch. I think he's going to be an even better horse in the future."

R. Associate is trained by Arnie Turner and is owned by Garth Weeks, who paid $67,000 for the son of Crafty Prospector in the horses of racing age sale held at Hastings in April. R. Associate earned $75,000 for the win.