Updated on 09/16/2011 6:45AM

Pelirrojo rallies to neck victory


ARCADIA, Calif. - Pelirrojo closed from last to win a * for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita on Wednesday, a victory that put him on course for the preps to the Santa Anita Derby.

Ridden by Garrett Gomez, Pelirrojo won a three-horse photo. He finished a neck in front of Raven Power, the 4-5 favorite and pacesetter, who was a head in front of Azillion. Puerto Banus, a half-brother to Spain, the winner of the 2000 Breeders' Cup Distaff, finished fourth in a field of seven.

Pelirrojo ($11.40) ran a mile on 1:37.93 over a track playing slow. Last to the final turn, Pelirrojo rallied three-wide to reach contention in early stretch. He caught Raven Power in the final sixteenth and was all out to reach the front.

Trained by John Sadler for Granja Vista del Rio Stable, Pelirrojo has won two of three starts. He won a maiden race over six furlongs at Hollywood Park on Dec. 2, but was fourth in an allowance race on Dec. 26. Wednesday's race was his first around two turns.

* The California 3-year-old division lost a prospect earlier this week when Traditional suffered a stress fracture to a shin, trainer D. Wayne Lukas said. "He'll be out for 60 days," Lukas said.

Traditional won a maiden race over 1 1/16 miles on Jan. 20 for owners-breeder Bob and Beverly Lewis.

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