Updated on 09/17/2011 8:38PM

Spanish Chestnut's speed takes it

Spanish Chestnut and jockey Gary Stevens run to the finish to win the Grade II, $150,000 San Rafael Stakes on Saturday at Santa Anita.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Spanish Chestnut's one-dimensional running style was rewarded Saturday on a speed-biased racetrack at Santa Anita, where the 3-year-old scored his first stakes victory in the Grade 2 . Iced Out, a 9-1 outsider, finished second by three-quarters of a length. He was one length in front of third-place Texcess, who ran perhaps the best race considering his wide trip and a training pattern that had been interrupted by rain.

The San Rafael disappointments included the 9-5 favorite, Kirkendahl, who pressed the pace along the rail but had nothing in the lane and finished last. Two for two sprinting, Kirkendahl was running long for the first time. Chips Are Down pressed the pace but was empty at the quarter pole and finished fourth.

The mile race was run in a modest 1:36.69, and enthusiasm for the winner's performance will be tempered because after four races Saturday, the Santa Anita main track appeared to be blatantly speed-favoring. In all four races, there was virtually no change in running position the final quarter-mile.

Gary Stevens rode Spanish Chestnut ($9), whose chances appeared compromised when he broke last of five, but he pulled Stevens to the lead while two wide at the three-quarter pole, and thereafter refused to relinquish the lead.

"He's a grinder, he loves to fight," Stevens said. "He proved he belongs with the best around here."

Spanish Chestnut set fractions of 46.03 seconds and 1:10.14, before running his final quarter-mile in 26.55 seconds.

Patrick Biancone trains Spanish Chestnut, a $500,000 colt by Horse Chestnut who won for the third time in five starts. Biancone said he expects to keep Spanish Chestnut in California through the winter. Iced Out rallied from last. Texcess was three- and four-wide most of the trip.