01/06/2010 12:00AM

Kettle River rallies to victory


ARCADIA, Calif. - Making his debut against winners, Kettle River rallied from fifth to win an allowance race for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita on Wednesday.

Leaving the winner's circle, trainer Eoin Harty said Kettle River has earned a start in the $150,000 Robert Lewis Stakes over 1 1/16 miles on Feb. 6.

Ridden by Brice Blanc, Kettle River ($23.40) was timed in 1:43.76 for 1 1/16 miles. Blanc had Kettle River in fifth on the backstretch and made a two-wide move on the turn to reach the front in early stretch. Kettle River won by three-quarters of a length over Hawaiian Springs.

The Program, the 6-5 favorite, finished third, a nose behind Hawaiian Springs in the field of seven. Pacesetter Quiet Invader set a slow pace of 24.11 and 47.91 seconds and faded to finish fourth.

Owned by Sheikh Mohammed's Darley Stable, Kettle River finished sixth in his debut at Saratoga last August and beat maidens in a turf race over 1 1/16 miles at Hollywood Park on Nov. 15. The colt has won 2 of 3 starts and $52,000.

"He's always been the best I've got for Darley," Harty said. "Ever since he broke his maiden, he's gotten better and better. I've really liked his last three works. I felt confident but it was a salty spot for an allowance race."