10/07/2017 9:05PM

Tribal Storm posts half-length upset in Harris Farms Stakes

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Shane Micheli/Vassar Photography
Tribal Storm returned $29.40 for his half-length victory in Saturday's Harris Farms Stakes at Fresno.

Tribal Storm ($29.40) was content to sit far off the pace before unleashing a strong stretch run to win the $100,675 Harris Farms Stakes on Saturday at the Big Fresno Fair.

The 3-year-old Papa Clem ridgling, bred and owned by longtime California breeders Curt and Lila Lanning, had only favored Solid Wager beaten down the backstretch of the six-furlong stakes for Cal-breds.

Prime Issue set a legitimate pace with fractions of 22.86 and 45.33, while Irving Orozco didn’t push Tribal Storm, who was coming off an Aug. 27 sprint victory against older.

Tribal Storm was still seventh in the field of nine at the quarter pole, but he was beginning to make his move.

Jimmy Bouncer, defending winner of the Harris Farms, stuck his head in front of Prime Issue at the eighth pole, but Tribal Storm seemed to have momentum on his side. He dug in and continued to make up ground, beating Jimmy Bouncer by a half-length in 1:10.63.

“I thought he had a chance, but there are always questions about how good the other horses are and how he’ll handle a new track,” said winning trainer Ed Moger Jr. “He’s got a big stride, so we knew he’d be coming in the lane.”

Prime Issue, who bumped with Jimmy Bouncer in the lane, held on for third, finishing another three-quarters of a length back. Solid Wager rallied for fourth, 2 1/2 lengths behind Prime Issue.

Tribal Storm earned $57,000 for his fourth victory in nine starts. He has now earned $210,885.