03/08/2014 8:28PM

Santa Anita: Winning Prize leads all the way in Frank Kilroe Mile

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Benoit & Associates
Winning Prize proves uncatchable under Corey Nakatani in the Frank Kilroe Mile.

ARCADIA, Calif. – On the front or from off the pace, Winning Prize has been unbeatable in turf miles in Southern California this winter.

Winning Prize closed from second to win the Grade 2 Arcadia Stakes on Feb. 1 and led throughout Saturday’s $351,000 Frank Kilroe Mile, beating an outstanding field.

The winning strategy was a surprise to trainer Neil Drysdale. He expected Winning Prize to race as a stalker, but when none of the other eight runners were sent to the front, jockey Corey Nakatani took the lead on Winning Prize.

Winning Prize set a pace of 23.17 and 46.47 seconds and held off a sustained threat from Lochte to win by a half-length.

“He got away with a 46,” Drysdale said. “That’s not fast, not on this course.”

Winning Prize led by a head with a quarter-mile remaining and was challenged by Lochte, who rallied on the rail. Lochte won the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap on Feb. 9. Suggestive Boy, who won the 2013 Frank Kilroe Mile, closed well to finish third, followed by Za Approval, Silentio, Lakerville, Tom’s Tribute, Regally Ready, and Optimizer.

Winning Prize ($9.60) was timed in 1:32.44 on a course that played quick Saturday.

“I was concerned about the horse coming up the inside,” Drysdale said. “I was surprised that Corey let him in, but we won.”

An Argentine-bred, Winning Prize has won 8 of 13 starts and $610,840. Winning Prize was a Group 1 winner in Argentina in 2012 and made his American debut with a victory in an optional claimer at Del Mar last summer.  Winning Prize is a 5-year-old by the Storm Cat stallion Pure Prize.

The Arcadia Stakes and Frank Kilroe Mile are the first stakes wins in the United States for Winning Prize, who races for Dave Heerensperger and Jose Nelson.

Michael Slezak More than 1 year ago
No mention in the article that this was a Grade 1?
jon g More than 1 year ago
Send WP to Keeneland for a matchup with Wise Dan coming off a layoff. WP may only lose by 1-2 lengths. Nice,talented even match field here,but no match for the HOY
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
very good horse ..in the mold off the really good Argentinian horses...Tough durable game and fast.joins a long list gentleman,bayakoa,paseana,candy ride(not durable but brilliant anyway) invasor and others.
Perl More than 1 year ago
Awful ride by the jock on Suggestive Boy.
rdeeps52 More than 1 year ago
this is the truth
jon g More than 1 year ago
I had him to win,awful ride
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
Was planning on betting $100.00 to win on Winning Prize, but he looked awful in the post parade. I know it was hot today in So Cal, but he did not nearly as good in the PP today as he did last start. Well my keen eye cost me close to $500.00.
Louie Carnesco More than 1 year ago
Good story Lawrence. But I bet a bundle on silentio and lockte to win. My 9 year old son liked winning prize so I made a $2 bet for him.I lost a stack but my son won$9.60
jon g More than 1 year ago
Sounds like my recent derby history with my kid/wife. I lose a couple hundred and they cash $2 win
Gene More than 1 year ago
Lawrence, he always gets hot like that...