01/21/2013 6:10PM

Santa Anita: Distinctiv Passion wins stakes debut easily in San Pedro

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Benoit & Associates
Distinctiv Passion wins the San Pedro Stakes at Santa Anita by 1 1/2 lengths.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Distinctiv Passion won his stakes debut in the $75,460 San Pedro Stakes for 3-year-old sprinters by 1 1/2 lengths at Santa Anita on Monday.

The winning margin was deceptive.

Jockey Edwin Maldonado quit riding Distinctiv Passion in the final 60 yards or so, allowing runner-up Hear the Ghost to whittle the margin. Still, Distinctiv Passion ($3.60) was a comfortable winner in a hand ride, leading throughout and running six furlongs in a quick 1:08.50.

The San Pedro was Distinctiv Passion’s third consecutive win, preceded by a maiden race at Betfair Hollywood Park on Nov. 25 and an allowance race here Dec. 28. He was third and fourth in two maiden races at Del Mar in August before the current winning streak began.

“He tries really hard every time,” winning trainer Jeff Bonde said. “When he got the break, he turned into a more mature horse.”

Distinctiv Passion had just three rivals in the San Pedro after the morning scratch of Resist. Breaking from the inside, Distinctiv Passion zoomed to an early lead, setting quick fractions of 21.55 and 43.61 seconds. He led by three lengths with a furlong remaining and was in command through the stretch.

Hear the Ghost, a maiden race winner at Hollywood Park in December, finished 1 3/4 lengths in front of Disarm. The disappointment in the race was Really Mr Greely, winner of the Grade 3 Hollywood Prevue Stakes over seven furlongs in November. He was never a factor and finished 9 3/4 lengths behind the winner.

Distinctiv Passion, by With Distinction, will make his next start in the $150,000 San Vicente Stakes for 3-year-olds over seven furlongs Feb. 17. Owned by Edward Brown Jr., Alan Klein, and Phillip Lebherz, Distinctiv Passion has won 3 of 5 starts and $120,600.