Updated on 09/16/2011 7:53AM

Shuffling Kid victorious in Baldwin


ARCADIA, Calif. - Shuffling Kid held off a late rally from a herd of contenders to win Sunday's $114,400 Baldwin Stakes at Santa Anita and remain unbeaten in two starts in this country.

Shuffling Kid's upset victory in the Grade 3 Baldwin Stakes gave jockey Patrick Valenzuela his first stakes win at Santa Anita since he returned from suspension for personal problems in late December. Valenzuela also won Saturday's Ken Maddy Sprint at Golden Gate Fields.

Shuffling Kid ($26.20) led throughout the Baldwin Stakes, finishing about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course in 1:13.30. Valenzuela said those tactics were not his intention.

"I didn't want to be on the lead," Valenzuela said. "The speed took back, so I elected to go to the front."

Shuffling Kid led by three lengths crossing the dirt and was under pressure through the stretch.

"I was a little worried when Pat went to the lead," trainer Mike Machowsky said. "When they crossed the dirt, I saw that Pat had some horse left."

Shuffling Kid won by a head over Red Briar, who finished a neck in front of 48-1 Dark Sorcerer. Roman Dancer, the 2-1 favorite, finished fourth and was one of eight horses within 2 1/2 lengths of the winner at the finish. There were 12 starters.

Owned by a partnership that includes Don Blahut, Dave Johnson and Mike Spero, Shuffling Kid has won 3 of 11 starts. Purchased for $60,000 over the winter, he has won both his starts in this country since arriving from England.

"I want to try him on dirt," Machowsky said. "There's not a lot of options with these grass races, and no more hill races. I won't try him against the bears."