10/27/2013 7:25PM

Santa Anita: Bio Pro wins stakes debut in Lure

Barbara D. Livingston
Bio Pro, ridden by Mario Gutierrez, wins the Lure Stakes by 3 1/4 lengths.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Bio Pro, who could have been claimed for $20,000 in January, won his stakes debut in Sunday’s $76,250 Lure Stakes over a mile on turf at Santa Anita.

Bio Pro ($19.60) had an ideal trip under jockey Mario Gutierrez, best known for winning the 2012 Kentucky Derby on I’ll Have Another. Bio Pro was third for the first six furlongs, stalking pacesetter El Commodore and My Best Brother through early fractions of 22.42 and 45.50 seconds.

Bio Pro took the lead in the final furlong and quickly drew clear to win by 3 1/4 lengths, finishing in 1:33.48.

“Everything worked,” Gutierrez said. “The two horses went a good pace. I was left alone, and he won pretty easy.”

My Best Brother finished second, a half-length in front of 2-1 El Commodore, who was ridden by Gary Stevens. Earlier on the program, Stevens won with his first four mounts of the day.

Willyconker finished fourth in the Lure Stakes, followed by Venomous, Hawk’s Eyes, Utopian, Polytechnicien, Sirocco Strike, and Huntsville. The Lure Stakes was restricted to horses who had not won a stakes worth $55,000 or more to the winner at a mile or longer this year, other than statebred stakes.

Bio Pro races for William Marks and trainer Howard Zucker. Bio Pro beat maidens in a $20,000 claimer here in January and showed improvement when switched to turf in the summer.

A 5-year-old gelding by War Front, Bio Pro won consecutive turf races in a starter allowance at Betfair Hollywood Park in June and an allowance race at Del Mar in July before finishing fourth in an optional claimer at Del Mar on Aug. 17, his most recent start prior to the Lure Stakes.

Bio Pro gave Zucker his first stakes win since Queen of the Catsle’s victory in the Daisycutter Handicap at Del Mar in September 2009.