09/02/2013 6:56PM

Northlands Park: Senor Rojo rallies to win Speed to Spare Stakes


The heavily favored Senor Rojo ($3.60) rallied along the rail to win the $100,000 Speed to Spare at Northlands Park on Monday. It was Senor Rojo’s second win in the premier race for 3-year-olds and up at Northlands. He won the Speed to Spare in 2011 and last year set the pace before finishing third in the 1 3/8-mile race.

On Monday, Senor Rojo was sitting comfortably in fifth with Rico Walcott aboard while Tommy Danzigger and Two to Load dueled through a half-mile in 48.40 seconds. Senor Rojo moved into contention after six furlongs in 1:14.20 and took the lead when a hole opened up approaching the final turn.

He held a three-length advantage over Liberty Cap turning for home and never looked threatened while holding off a late move by Toccetive to win by 2 3/4 lengths. Liberty Cap, who briefly took the lead near the quarter pole, held on to finish third.

“It takes a great horse and a great rider to win a race like this, and they both put on a real performance today,” trainer Dave Forster said.

“I just waited as long as I could, and when I asked him at the quarter pole, he responded well,” Walcott said.

The final time was 2:22.20.

Senor Rojo earned $60,000, bringing his lifetime earnings to $426,350. The 7-year-old Kentucky-bred gelding by Out of Place is owned by Tres Hombres and George Gilbert.