Updated on 09/17/2011 11:17AM

Steelaninch by a nose in La Puente

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BENOIT PHOTO
Steelaninch and Victor Espinoza, left, win the battle with Singletary and David Flores in the $150,000 La Puente Stakes at Santa Anita Park.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Trainer James Cassidy, with 13 seconds and only two wins from 53 starts at Santa Anita this meet, had his patience rewarded Saturday when British import Steelaninch, under jockey Victor Espinoza, won the $150,000 by a nose over 11-10 favorite Singletary, who was ridden by David Flores.

The victory gave Cassidy, a 57-year-old native of the Bronx, his third win from 54 starts at the 85-day meet, which ends next Sunday.

Flores lodged a claim of foul for alleged interference through the stretch, but it was disallowed.

Steelaninch, a gray English-bred son of Inchinor, rallied four-wide through the stretch and won the head bob over Singletary. Urban King rallied under Corey Nakatani to finish third, a length behind Singletary. Slew City Citadel finished fourth, one length behind Urban King. Just Wonder, pace-setter Our Bobby V. and Love Is Blind, who was coupled with Steelaninch, completed the order of finish. Excessive Barb was scratched.

"I always had faith in this horse," Cassidy said, "but we had to have a little luck, too. We had to have the luck of the rail not being out 30 feet like last time (when Steelaninch was second by 2 1/2 lengths to Singletary in the March 14 Academy Road Stakes at one mile on turf). I knew Singletary was a good horse, having run second to (Blue Grass Stakes winner) Peace Rules, but with the way Steelaninch was training, I really thought all along he'd get the job done."

Said Espinoza: "My horse and David's horse were in real tight, but we never touched. I didn't think I would come down. He ran a very gutsy race. I'm very glad for the trainer (Cassidy). He needed that one."

It was the fifth win from 12 starts for Steelaninch, who carried 114 pounds over one mile on a firm turf course in 1:34.74. He paid $10.60 to win as the third choice in the field of seven 3-year-olds and earned $90,000 for his California owners, Jim Ford of Rancho Santa Fe and Deron Pearson of Santa Clarita.

It was the second-fastest running of the La Puente since the race was changed to one mile in 1996. Espinoza has ridden the La Puente winner in three of the last four years.

Our Bobby V. set the pace under Tyler Baze, reeling off fractions of :23.52, :47.87, 1:11.34 before fading in the drive. Singletary had first run on Steelaninch, and the two made brief contact in early stretch but the stewards ruled it was initiated by Slew City Slew on Singletary, who ultimately was jostled between Steelaninch and Slew City Citadel.

Racing resumes Sunday with first post at 12:30 p.m.