04/09/2011 7:35PM

Santa Anita: First Dude gains elusive second career win in allowance

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ARCADIA, Calif.- First Dude, who placed in the Preakness and Belmont Stakes last year, won the second race of his career in an allowance race over 1 1/16 miles at Santa Anita on Saturday.

Ridden by Martin Garcia, who collected his third winner of the day, First Dude ($3.60) closed from fourth on the backstretch and made a three-wide move on the turn to reach the front in the stretch. He won by 2 1/2 lengths over Kid Kevlar, finishing in 1:42.48. Coo Cachoo finished third in the field of 10.

First Dude was sixth in the Santa Anita Handicap over 1 1/4 miles on March 5, setting the pace on the backstretch before fading to finish 6 1/2 lengths behind race winner Game On Dude.

For Saturday’s allowance race, trainer Bob Baffert changed tactics, having Garcia keep First Dude off the pace for the first half of the race.

“We wanted to get him back,” Baffert said. “The experiment worked. That’s the way he wants to run.”

Previously trained by Dale Romans, First Dude often raced on or near the lead in 2010. The season included placings in six consecutive Grade 1 or Grade 2 races, including a second in the Preakness, to the Baffert-trained Lookin At Lucky, and third in the Belmont Stakes behind Drosselmeyer.

Owned by breeder Donald Dizney, First Dude has won 2 of 15 starts and $928,760.