Updated on 09/17/2011 12:54PM

St Averil wins Santa Catalina

St Averil (left) wins the Grade 2, $150,000 Santa Catalina Stakes at Santa Anita on Saturday.

ARCADIA, Calif. - St Averil proved raw talent can overcome lack of experience in Saturday's Grade 2, $150,000 at Santa Anita. In only the third start of his career, St Averil raced wide the entire way in the 1 1/16-mile race, yet still roared past the leaders for a stylish 1 1/2-length victory.

Lucky Pulpit, who forced a hot pace with Perfect Moon, finished second, two lengths in front of third-place Master David, who was making his first start since finishing second in Aqueduct's Remsen Stakes on Nov. 29.

St Averil was a winner against maidens in his debut here Nov. 9, then finished second to unbeaten Lion Heart in last month's Hollywood Futurity. In the Santa Catalina, he was fanned four paths wide on the first turn, then was caught three-wide on the final turn, but he still finished resolutely and was going away at the finish.

"Around the far turn he just took a nice deep breath," said winning rider Tyler Baze. "When I asked him, he really kicked in."

St Averil ($6.40) was timed in an excellent 1:41.62 on the fast main track.

Rafael Becerra trains St Averil, a Saint Ballado colt who was purchased as a yearling for $500,000 by owner Stan Fulton.

The Santa Catalina is the first graded stakes of the season for 3-year-olds pointing for the April 3 Santa Anita Derby and May 1 Kentucky Derby.