02/14/2010 12:00AM

Nothing humble about them now

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Benoit & Associates
Blind Luck (left) gets up in the final stride to win the Grade 1 Las Virgenes Stakes at Santa Snita on Saturday.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Two horses who began their careers in maiden-claiming races made big splashes in key 3-year-old stakes races at Santa Anita on Saturday, when Caracortado remained unbeaten in the for fillies.

Caracortado ($11), the fourth choice in a five-horse field, sent well-regarded Tiz Chrome and American Lion to defeat when scoring a 1 3/4-length victory over the late-running Dave in Dixie, with American Lion, favored Tiz Chrome, and Tango Tango completing the order of finish.

Caracortado, a California-bred gelding, got a perfect trip under jockey Paul Atkinson. He sat third as Tiz Chrome and American Lion dueled through fractions of 23.27 seconds, 47.11, and 1:11.25 for the first six furlongs, then roared past those two at the top of the stretch. He completed 1 1/16 miles on Pro-Ride in 1:41.75, the fastest time for the distance at the meet.

Mike Machowsky trains Caracortado, who is now 5 for 5, for a partnership headed by Don Blahut. Caracortado won first time out in a maiden-claimer at Fairplex. His most recent win had been in the California Breeders' Champion Stakes on Dec. 26 at the same distance as the Lewis.

"He had gone two turns already," Machowsky said. "That was a big advantage."

Blind Luck ($2.40), who began her career in a maiden-claimer at Calder, overcame an overconfident ride by jockey Rafael Bejarano and just got up in the very last jump to win by a nose over Evening Jewel, with Switch a half-length farther back in third.

Blind Luck was last in the field of five behind slow fractions of 24.31 seconds, 48.41, and 1:12.59 for the first six furlongs of the one-mile race. Five lengths back with a quarter-mile to go, she finished furiously, much like Zenyatta in the Clement Hirsch at Del Mar, to bail out her rider and win for the fifth time in seven starts. She was timed in 1:35.98 for one mile on Pro-Ride, including a final quarter-mile in approximately 22.40 seconds.

"I was thinking she was a little too far back, but Rafael knows her well," said Jerry Hollendorfer, who trains and is a co-owner of Blind Luck. "The good ones have a way of winning."

Some $443,040 of the $479,689 bet to show in the race was on Blind Luck.

Switch stumbled soon after the finish and dislodged jockey Tyler Baze, who appeared to be grazed by the trailing Summer Games. But Baze popped right up, and Switch appeared uninjured.

Jeranimo outfinishes Misremembered in Strub

Jeranimo bulled his way between horses and held off favored Misremembered to score an 11-1 upset in the Grade 2, $200,000 on Saturday at Santa Anita.

Jeranimo ($24.80) benefited by the Strub being postponed a week. He was not entered in the race when it was originally carded because he had raced in the Sunshine Millions Classic on Jan. 30, in which he finished fourth in a troubled trip. But with an extra week, trainer Michael Pender and owner B.J. Wright decided to sign up for the belated Strub.

Martin Garcia rode Jeranimo, who won by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:47.83 for 1 1/8 miles on Pro-Ride. Acclamation finished third.

The win was only the third in 11 starts for Jeranimo, and his first stakes win.

St Trinians wins fourth in a row

She may not have a pretty of going, but St Trinians looks gorgeous when it counts, at the end of a race. She won her fourth straight race since arriving on these shores when defeating Life Is Sweet, the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic winner, in the for older fillies and mares on Saturday at Santa Anita.

St Trinians ($4.60) has wide, ugly action, but she has a terrific turn of foot. She roared past the four rivals in front of her at the top of the stretch, then safely held off Life Is Sweet to win by 1 3/4 lengths. She completed 1 1/16 miles on Pro-Ride in 1:41.73, which was .02 faster than the time turned in by Caracortado in the Robert Lewis one hour earlier, giving St Trinians the fastest time at the distance at the meet.

My Baby Baby was another half-length back in third.

St Trinians, who carried 7 fewer pounds than Life Is Sweet (123-116), was favored. She was coming off a victory in the Paseana Handicap here on Jan. 9. Joel Rosario has been aboard for her last three victories.

Mike Mitchell trains St Trinians, who has now won seven times in 11 starts. All of her wins have been on synthetic surfaces.

* Earlier Saturday, Macias won his second straight grass stakes this meet when scoring a 2 1/2-length victory in the Baffle Stakes on the hillside turf course. He also won the Eddie Logan on Dec. 28. Macias ($3.80), under Victor Espinoza, completed the about 6 1/2-furlong distance in 1:12.58. Ace of Aces was second and Marcello third. Macias, trained by Bob Baffert for Ahmed Zayat's Zayat Stables, has now won four times in six starts.