03/26/2011 7:14PM

Santa Anita: Pedroza bounces back from spill to take Tokyo City on ex-claimer Worth Repeating


ARCADIA, Calif.- An hour after he was involved in a one-horse spill, jockey Martin Pedroza won his first graded stakes since July when Worth Repeating held off a late threat from Honour the Deputy in Saturday’s $100,000 Tokyo City Cup at Santa Anita.

Worth Repeating ($18.20) was always near the front. He disputed the lead with Arcodoro through a mile in 1:38.69, took the lead on the turn, and led by two lengths at the eighth pole. Honour the Deputy closed steadily from last but could not make up the difference.

Spurrier finished third in the field of five, followed by 8-5 favorite Soul Candy and Arcodoro.

Worth Repeating ran 1 1/2 miles on the main track in 2:29.23. The 5-year-old Worth Repeating, owned by Spendthrift Farm and trained by Richard Mandella, won his first stakes in the Grade 3 Tokyo City. A winner of 3 of 19 starts and $199,440, Worth Repeating was second in a $62,500 claimer on turf on March 3.

Pedroza opted to keep Worth Repeating near Arcodoro early, knowing that fractions were slow. Worth Repeating and Arcodoro were head-and-head on the backstretch before Worth Repeating pulled away.

“I didn’t want to choke my horse,” Pedroza said. “I hated to go head-and-head, but I knew [Arcodoro] would fade sooner or later. I was hoping it wouldn’t cost my horse.”

Pedroza rode Worth Repeating once last summer, finishing third in the Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap on turf. After Saturday’s race, Pedroza said he had hoped to regain the mount, but realized that jockey Rafael Bejarano had preference in Mandella’s stable. Saturday, Bejarano rode the Dubai World Cup program in the Middle East.

Pedroza was lucky to ride Worth Repeating. In Saturday’s fifth race, he was unseated when the 8-5 favorite Brenthurst broke down at the top of the stretch of a sprint for $20,000 claimers.

Pedroza, 45, is currently fifth in the Santa Anita standings. Saturday’s win was his first in a graded stakes since E Z’s Gentleman won the Grade 1 Triple Bend Handicap at Hollywood Park last summer.