06/26/2016 7:39PM

Soi Phet ends drought with McCann's Mojave win

Shigeki Kikkawa
Soi Phet wins McCann's Mojave at Santa Anita on Sunday.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Soi Phet ended a 15-race losing streak with a front-running win in Sunday’s $77,000 McCann’s Mojave Handicap for California-breds at Santa Anita.

Despite the string of losses, Soi Phet was favored in the field of five, and ran accordingly. Ridden by Kent Desormeaux, Soi Phet pulled away in the final quarter-mile to win by 2 1/2 lengths over Avanti Bello. Soi Phet ran 1 1/16 miles in a quick 1:40.80.

The result was a reverse of a nose decision in the Tiznow Stakes on May 28. In that race, Soi Phet was seventh early and closed well late. Sunday, Soi Phet never gave his rivals a chance, and the style of the victory surprised winning trainer Leonard Powell.

“I didn’t think he’d be on the lead,” Powell said. “I left it to Kent. He broke so smooth. Sometimes he bobbles.  It looked like they were crawling and he picked it up and picked it up.”

Soi Phet ran the opening quarter-mile in 23.57 seconds and a half-mile in 46.75 seconds. Avanti Bello was within a half-length of the front to the eighth pole, but could not get closer.

Avanti Bello finished 5 1/2 lengths in front of El Huerfano, who was followed by Songforjohnmichael and Howdy.

Soi Phet, an 8-year-old gelding by Tizbud, has won 9 of 45 starts and has earned $641,736. He has earned $581,956 since being claimed for $14,000 in the summer of 2013. Sunday’s win was the first victory for Soi Phet since the $200,000 Los Alamitos Mile in September 2014.

Powell said the key is racing Soi Phet sparingly and not during the winter.

“Every year, the summer he does very well,” he said. “I won’t run him in the winter.”