01/01/2009 12:00AM

New year, same result in El Conejo


ARCADIA, Calif. - In Summation began 2009 the same way as 2008 - winning the $98,000 El Conejo Handicap at Santa Anita.

His repeat win Thursday ended a five-race losing streak dating back to January 2008 and was his 10th stakes win.

Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, In Summation rallied from last in a field of four to win the Grade 3 El Conejo by a length. Sent off favored, In Summation ($4.40) ran 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:02.58 while wearing blinkers for the first time in his career.

"I thought it set up good for us," said Nicholas Bachalard, assistant trainer to Christophe Clement.

Bejarano kept In Summation two to three lengths off the early pace of 21.25 and 44.05 seconds set by Machismo. Johnny Eves, who was within a length of Machismo through the first quarter-mile, faded from contention on the turn, leaving Machismo and Black Seventeen fighting for the lead. In Summation rallied wide through the stretch to reach the front in the final furlong.

"I didn't think they'd send Johnny Eves to the lead," Bachalard said. "I'm not sure blinkers made a difference, but he won with them, so we'll keep them on."

Machismo finished second, 2 1/2 lengths in front of Black Seventeen. Johnny Eves was essentially eased through the stretch, finishing more than 16 lengths behind In Summation.

Owned by Waterford Stable, In Summation, 6, has won 11 of 27 starts and $1,215,166. The El Conejo was his first stakes win since the Grade 2 Palos Verdes Handicap last January, a $150,000 race that could be his next start on Jan. 25.

Bachalard said the $300,000 Sunshine Millions Sprint for California-breds and Florida-breds on Jan. 24 is another possibility.

"He'll have one more race then go to Florida" for the spring, Bachalard said. "It's nice to see him back."