07/03/2008 11:00PM

Surface switch aids Zoobstick

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The switch from turf to dirt played right into the hands of Zoobstick, who made the most of his opportunity by registering a 2 1/4-length decision over 6-5 favorite Otis Ridge in the $36,000 Mecke Handicap at Calder on Friday.

Zoobstick, who had never won a race on grass, rated off the early leaders while saving ground, swung outside, and gained command in early stretch before gradually edging away to the most important victory of his career. Otis Ridge lost considerable ground when angled five wide with his rally into the stretch and could not make up the deficit while easily second best in a field reduced to six starters by a pair of late scratches.

Zoobstick, a 4-year-old son of Groomstick, was ridden to victory by Juan Leyva for trainer Jerry Bozzo and paid $11.40.