09/05/2014 7:41PM

Patriots Rule by a nose in E.B. Johnston Stakes


CYPRESS, Calif. – Odds-on favorite Patriots Rule needed every inch of the long Los Alamitos stretch Friday, the opening day of the fall Thoroughbred meet, to win the $75,000 E.B. Johnston by a nose in track-record time for 6 1/2 furlongs.

A stretch runner rallying from behind a modest pace (23.25 seconds and 46.13), Patriots Rule wore down pacesetter Eddie’s First in the shadow of the wire to win by a nose in 1:14.60. The time lowered the track record by nearly one second. The previous record was 1:15.59.

The stakes win by Patriots Rule in the race for California-bred 3-year-olds was his first stakes. A gelding by Tribal Rule trained by Robertino Diodoro and assistant Sean Williams, Patriots Rule was ridden by Fernando Perez. Patriots Rule ($3.60) has won 3 of 9 races.

Eddie’s First finished nearly eight lengths clear of third-place Arctic Code. What a View and Solid Wager completed the order of finish. Better Bet and Princesskatiebella scratched.

• No one hit the pick six Friday; a carryover of $18,364 is up for grabs Saturday on races 4-9. The sequence includes the inaugural running of the $200,000 Los Alamitos Mile, race 8, in which Masochistic is the 7-5 program favorite.

• Ligety, a 2-year-old second-time starter, was pulled up in the stretch of race 3 after injuring his left front. He was euthanized. Trained by Michael McCarthy, Ligety was purchased at a March 2-year-olds sale for $65,000. He was eighth in his July 30 debut. During the July Thoroughbred meet at Los Alamitos, there were no fatal breakdowns.