01/21/2012 7:36PM

Santa Anita: Making up for lost time, Frumious wins first stakes in Palos Verdes

Benoit Photo
Palos Verdes winner Frumious is in the best form of his career at age 6.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Frumious, a 6-year-old who suffered a suspensory injury earlier in this career, was later gelded, and ran for a $40,000 claiming race as recently as last month, pulled an upset in Saturday’s $150,000 Palos Verdes Stakes at Santa Anita.

Frumious ($14.60) set a fast pace, through rapid fractions of 21.06 and 43.77 seconds, and proved impossible to catch, finishing six furlongs on a wet-fast track in a rapid 1:07.28. Ridden by Antonio Castanon, Frumious won by 5 3/4 lengths over 12-1 Galientos.

Mensa Heat, a 7-2 shot, finished third in the field of six. Courtside, the 9-5 favorite, was as close as third on the backstretch but faded through the final quarter-mile to finish last. Euroears, the winner of the Grade 1 Bing Crosby Stakes at Del Mar last summer, was never a factor and finished fourth. The Palos Verdes was Euroears’s final start. He is scheduled to begin a stud career in Oklahoma next month.

There was a key scratch earlier in the day when Amazombie, the 2011 sprint champion, was withdrawn after overnight rain.

Speed has been an asset at the month-long Santa Anita winter-spring meeting and the quickness that Frumious showed was an asset. Castanon hustled Frumious away from the gate to lead by a length after a quarter-mile. He never faced a serious threat through the rest of the race, leading by 2 1/2 lengths in the stretch.

Owned by George and Mary Clare Schmitt, Frumious has won 6 of 15 starts and $259,192. The Palos Verdes was his first stakes win.

As a 2-year-old in 2008, Frumious won three consecutive races - a maiden race and two optional claimers at Golden Gate Fields - before being sidelined. He made only one start at 3. Frumious lost eight consecutive races from late 2008 until Dec. 9, 2011, when he won a $40,000 claimer at Hollywood Park.

The Palos Verdes was the third victory of his current winning streak, preceded by an optional claimer over six furlongs here on Dec. 31.

“It’s very exciting,” said trainer Jeff Bonde, who missed the race with a cold. “He’s a nice horse and he continues to improve.”