Updated on 09/18/2011 12:27AM

Sharp Writer captures Alamedan Handicap

Vassar Photography
Sharp Writer wins the $50,900 Alamedan Handicap at the Alameda County Fair on Sunday.

PLEASANTON, Calif. - Sharp Writer ($6) sat off a surprisingly brisk pace, made a strong move turning for home and was an easy winner in the $50,900 Alamedan Handicap at the Alameda County Fair on Sunday.

Megabyte and Now Victory turned what seemed a paceless affair into a hotly contested pace battle, running sprint-like fractions of 22,28, 44.59 and 1:10.04 for the 1 1/16-mile stakes race.

Recognizing the fast fractions, Sharp Writer's jockey Russell Baze was content to sit last and not try to do too much early. He moved up on the turn, swung five wide into the stretch to get first run on First Rate Event and pulled clear down the stretch, defeating First Rate Event by four lengths in 1:43.22.

"He didn't act like he wanted to run much, but I kept knuckling on him to keep from letting them get too far ahead," winning jockey Russell Baze said.

Winning trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said he ran Sharp Writer, who had not won on the dirt before, because the 4-year-old colt had been running well.

"He's been training real well or I wouldn't have tried him on dirt," he said. "I gambled entering him here to prepare for the turf stakes (the $100,000 Joseph T. Grace on Aug. 5) at Santa Rosa."

Sharp Writer earned $27,650, lifting his lifetime earnings to $170,020 with five wins in 19 starts.