04/19/2009 12:00AM

Midships wires San Juan Capistrano


ARCADIA, Calif. - Left alone on the lead, Midships was unstoppable in Sunday's $196,000 San Juan Capistrano Handicap at Santa Anita.

Going a distance of about 1 3/4 miles on turf, Midships was allowed to set a slow pace six furlongs in 1:17.37 and a mile in 1:44.13 and held off a late threat from Spring House to win by three-quarters of a length.

Midships ($4) was timed in 2:49.26 on a 94-degree day, scoring his second consecutive graded stakes win. He won the Grade 2 San Luis Rey Handicap at 1 1/2 miles here on March 21.

In the San Juan, Midships led by as many as two lengths the first time past the stands and by a length on the backstretch. The race tightened turning for home when Obrigado got within a half-length of Midships, but the leader had plenty left to hold off his four rivals.

"I couldn t have been happier with the slow fractions, and the final result," said Humberto Ascanio, assistant to trainer Bobby Frankel.

Spring House, who won the Grade 2 San Luis Obispo Handicap at 1 1/2 miles on turf in February, finished three-quarters of a length in front of Obrigado. Big Booster, the defending champion, finished fourth, unable to make up any substantial ground in the last half-mile. Church Service was pulled up in the stretch.

Midships races for Juddmonte Farms. A 4-year-old colt by Mizzen Mast, Midships has won 4 of 14 starts and $342,830.