05/14/2011 12:30PM

Hollywood Park allowance win has War Pilot pointing to Oceanside Stakes


War Pilot won his 3-year-old debut in an allowance race over six furlongs on turf in Friday’s seventh race at Hollywood Park, giving trainer Mike Pender confidence that he has a candidate for the $100,000 Oceanside Stakes at Del Mar on July 20.

Ridden by Martin Pedroza, War Pilot ($12.20) stalked a pace shared by three runners, moved closer with an inside move in early stretch and won by 1 1/2 lengths over 3-5 favorite Vaundell in 1:08.96. Pender credited Pedroza’s move to keep War Pilot on the inside on the turn as a key to the win.

“It was a brilliant move by Pedroza,” Pender said on Saturday. “It was like he knew those horses were going to float out.”

Owned by B.J. Wright, War Pilot has won 2 of 5 starts and $65,570. Pender said he would like to start War Pilot in a prep race at Hollywood Park in June in advance of the Oceanside, a restricted stakes for 3-year-olds over a mile on turf.