01/02/2016 7:18PM

San Onofre comes back solid in Midnight Lute

Benoit & Associates
Alex Solis guides San Onofre to his first stakes victory in the Midnight Lute.

ARCADIA, Calif. – San Onofre has powered back up.

 Idle since being cast in his stall the day prior to the Santa Anita Sprint Championship three months ago, San Onofre returned a winner on Saturday at Santa Anita by capturing the Grade 3, $100,250 Midnight Lute Stakes for older sprinters, giving trainer Karen Headley and jockey Alex Solis their second win in tandem on the card.

 San Onofre ($10) was closest to the speedy Distinctiv Passion in the early going, reeled in that rival to take the lead a little more than a furlong out, and then turned back bids from Salutos Amigos and Pulling G’s to earn the first stakes win of his career.

 San Onofre was best by a half-length in a swift 1:14.82 for 6 1/2 furlongs on the fast main track. Salutos Amigos, the 9-5 favorite, was 1 3/4 lengths in front of third-place Pulling G’s, then came, in order, All Run, Raised a Secret, and Distinctiv Passion, who faded after setting splits of 21.72 seconds for the opening quarter and 44 flat for the half.

 Seattle Serenade was scratched earlier in the day.

 The win was the fifth in 10 starts for San Onofre, a 6-year-old-gelding by Sir Cat who finished second in pair of graded stakes last year at Santa Anita. He earned $60,000 Saturday to bring his career total to $333,040.

 Headley said San Onofre needed plenty of time to recover from being cast in the stall. Although he avoided breaking any ribs, “he looked like someone who rode a Hoverboard for the first time,” she said.

Bruce Headley, Karen’s father, bred San Onofre, and he races for the Matson Racing stable of Aase Headley, Karen’s mother and Bruce’s wife.

 Winning sprint stakes with the Headley family is old hat for Solis, who won his first Breeders’ Cup race with the Eclipse Award-winning sprinter Kona Gold for the Headleys. They also teamed to win significant sprint stakes with names such as Got Koko, Kalookan Queen, and Son of a Pistol.