Updated on 09/17/2011 9:43AM

Premeditation best in Winsham Lad

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Sunland Park, N. M. - William Clifton Jr.'s favored Premeditation won his first start as a four-year-old in Saturday's $50,000-added Winsham Lad Handicap after dueling longshot Leloup through the stretch and taking a narrow advantage at the wire. Premediation ran the two-turn mile in 1:35.80, fastest of the meet, while toting co-highweight of 122 pounds.

Premeditation stalked the early pace of Moro Grande from near the rail, then angled three wide nearing the stretch. By this point Moro Grande had given way to Leloup, who was getting five pounds from the winner. Leloup and jockey C. J. McMahon carried Premeditation out a bit entering the lane and an exciting duel was underway. "When I asked my horse I thought he was going to go right by them" winning jockey Casey Lambert said after the race. "The other horse dug right in, though, and I was beginning to get a little worried."

Leloup still had a half-length lead in midstretch but Lambert went to work on his horse with a fierce right-handed whip and gained the advantage in the final strides. Premeditation, an Afternoon Deelites colt bred by the late Allen Paulson, returned $5.80 and earned $33,330 to put his career bankroll at $308,000 with a 16-7-3-1 record. Trained by Bill Leach, the win in the Winsham Lad gave Premeditation his fourth in stakes competition. Big Numbers, forced to rally from six wide, was up for the show.