10/01/2006 11:00PM

Now Victory controls Presidio


ALBANY, Calif. - Now Victory ($30.80) took advantage of a paceless group of rivals to take control early and score an unchallenged victory in the $75,000 Presidio Stakes for California-breds at Golden Gate Fields on Saturday.

Now Victory went to the lead, and altough he set fast fractions in the one-mile turf race, was never challenged, finishing five lengths in front of Super Strut, who was a another half-length in front of favored El Don. The time was 1:34.28.

"That was a little redemption for last time," said winning trainer Dean Pederson of Now Victory's fifth-place finish in the China Basin, when he grew rank behind horses and was blocked throughout the stretch.

"Today with us drawn in the one hole, I told [jockey] Frank [Alvarado] to send him away from there, and, if someone wanted the lead, just to get to the outside. If no one went, I said to let him roll. I thought the only chance we had against those southern horses was to get the first jump on them. Today he ran awesome."

Alvarado has been the 5-year-old gelding's regular rider since he arrived in northern California last November.

Now Victory, who won the $101,000 Joseph Grace at Santa Rosa two starts back, earned $41,250 Saturday for his fifth career victory in 17 starts, lifting his earnings for Harris Farms and Per Antonsen to $192,111.