Updated on 09/16/2011 7:00AM

Medaglia d'Oro wins San Felipe Stakes

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Vaughn Youtz
Medaglia d'Oro, the third choice at 8-1, paid $19 to win after covering 1 1/16 miles on a fast main track in an excellent 1:41.95.

ARCADIA, Calif. - The Bobby Frankel Express stormed into the Kentucky Derby picture and steamrolled Siphonic on Sunday at Santa Anita, when the lightly raced Medaglia d'Oro scored a 2 1/2-length victory in the $250,000 , a race in which the heavily favored Siphonic was a poor third.

Medaglia d'Oro was making just the third start of his career, his first beyond six furlongs, his first in Southern California, and his first for Frankel. Despite the inexperience, he bravely re-rallied on the rail under Laffit Pincay Jr. after surrendering the lead to win going away. U S S Tinosa was second, 3 1/2 lengths in front of Siphonic.

Siphonic moved up midway through the race to attend the pace, had the lead entering the lane, but had no punch in the final furlong and did not properly change leads in the stretch. He was sent off at 2-5, and had such a large amount of the show pool bet on him that the first three finishers all paid $2.10 to show.

"Disappointing," said Jerry Bailey, who rode Siphonic. "He was pricking his ears like he had a lot left, but he didn't have any punch."

Medaglia d'Oro, the third choice at 8-1, paid $19 to win after covering 1 1/16 miles on a fast main track in an excellent 1:41.95. He was eligible for a first-level allowance race, but one did not fill, and Frankel said, "I thought Siphonic was maybe not 100 percent."

Medaglia d'Oro, a 3-year-old colt by El Prado, is now owned by Ed Gann, who purchased the colt privately following a maiden win on Feb. 9 at Oaklawn Park. The purchase was arranged by bloodstock agent Mark Reid, who has bought three other horses in the past year for Gann and Frankel, including stakes winners Labamta Babe and You.

"That guy picks out some wild horses for me," Frankel said.

- In a race earlier on the card, Above Perfection made a successful switch to the turf and ran her record to 7 for 9 with a front-running victory in the $107,000 Irish O'Brien Stakes, for California-bred fillies and mares at 6 1/2 furlongs on turf. The Darrell Vienna-trained filly is owned by David and Rita Milch and was ridden by Corey Nakatani. She paid $3.40 to win.