03/21/2015 4:40PM

Papacoolpapacool blooms on grass in Pasadena

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Benoit & Associates
Ridden by Elvis Trujillo, Papacoolpapacool wins the Pasadena Stakes on Saturday.

ARCADIA, Calif.- Papacoolpapacool has found a home on turf.

After finishing fifth in the Grade 3 Sham Stakes on dirt in January, Papacoolpapacool won his first stakes, and second consecutive start, in Saturday’s $80,500 Pasadena Stakes for 3-year-olds at a mile on turf at Santa Anita.

Ridden by Elvis Trujillo, Papacoolpapacool ($12.40) closed from third in a field of nine to win by 1 1/2 lengths over 13-1 Anytime Anyplace. Soul Driver, the 3-1 second choice who made a bold move on the turn to lead into the stretch, faded to finish third.

Soul Driver looked like the winner when Gary Stevens brought him to the front with a wide rally on the turn. Trujillo had Papacoolpapacool in third on the turn, and opted to wait for the stretch before pursuing Soul Driver.

“I decided to wait and got him out,” Trujillo said. “He’s a very nice horse. He’s consistent.”

Ernest Shackleton finished fourth, followed by Bench Warrant, Daddy D T, Stand and Salute, Jazzy Josh and Temple Keys.

Papacoolpapacool races for Cellist Racing Group and Ali Nilforushan and is trained by Phil D’Amato. A gelding by Temple City, Papacoolpapacool beat maidens in his third start, which came in a turf race last September when trained by Jeff Mullilns.

The gelding was transferred to D’Amato earlier this year after the Sham Stakes. In his first start for D’Amato, Papacoolpapacool won an optional claimer at a mile on turf on Feb. 22, closing from fifth in a field of eight. D’Amato said after Saturday’s race that he wants Papacoolpapapcool racing as a stalker and not a closer.

“I wanted him a little closer to get the jump on the closers,” D’Amato said. “He had him in a perfect spot.”

Papacoolpapacool has won 3 of 7 starts and earned $145,350.