04/23/2006 12:00AM

T.H. Approval captures San Juan Capistrano


ARCADIA, Calif. - T.H. Approval became the first repeat winner of the $250,000 in nearly 40 years at Santa Anita on Sunday, the closing day of the winter-spring meeting.

T.H. Approval, sent off as the favorite, rallied four-wide in the final half-mile to win the turf marathon by a length over One Off. Quinquin the King finished third in the field of 12.

Ridden by Alex Solis, T.H. Approval ($4.40) ran about 1 3-4 miles on turf in 2:45.29.

For the first mile, Solis had T.H. Approval toward the back of the field, well off the quick fractions of 46.26 and 1:10.21 set by Wild Buddy and Modern Era. The field bunched on the backstretch as Solis guided T.H. Approval closer to the front while racing wide.

With a rally, T.H. Approval went from sixth on the final turn to first in the stretch. The victory was his first since the 2005 San Juan Capistrano. "He relaxes and doesn't pull. He makes it so easy for us," Solis said.

Owned by Todahiro Hotehama and trained by Eduardo Inda, T.H. Approval, 5, has won 5 of 22 starts and $564,288.

Prior to Sunday's race, the last horse to win consecutive runnings was Niarkos in 1967-68.