01/09/2010 12:00AM

Neko Bay draws off to win San Pasqual


Neko Bay gained a measure of revenge when he captured the on Saturday at Santa Anita.

Owned by Jerry and Ann Moss and trained by John Shirreffs, Neko Bay had been unable to handle Furthest Land when he finished sixth to that rival in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile here Nov. 7. A more patient trip got the job done here.

Under Mike Smith, Neko Bay sat midpack off solid splits, swung wide into the lane for the stretch drive, and proved most powerful in the lane, eventually drawing clear to win by 1 3/4 lengths.

Spurrier finished strong while widest of all to get second at 25-1, a nose ahead of comebacking Nownownow, winner of the Grade 2 San Fernando here 51 weeks ago, who rallied from last along the inside to get third. Furthest Land, the overwhelming 3-5 favorite off the strength of a perfect 3-for-3 mark on synthetic footing, including that Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, seemed in a great spot pressing pacesetting longshot Goldsville early. He moved up to challenge into the lane, but after getting bumped and jostled between horses into the lane, he gave way to finish last of seven.

Neko Bay, a 7-year-old horse by Giant's Causeway, paid $12.40 and covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.95. The winner's share of $90,000 pushes his career bankroll to $323,020 from 5 wins in 13 starts. All five wins have come at Santa Anita, though only his last two came on its synthetic track.