Updated on 09/17/2011 2:26PM

Trieste's Honor takes California Derby

Vassar Photo
Trieste's Honor wins the California Derby at Bay Meadows on Saturday.

SAN MATEO, Calif. - Trieste's Honor ($6.40) raced wide the entire way and defeated Capitano by a neck after a stirring stretch duel as the two pulled away from the rest of the field in Saturday's at Bay Meadows.

The two favorites dominated through the lane in the 1 1/8-mile race with Trieste's Honor's winning in 1:47.95. The two were six lengths in front of third-place finisher Dream Place.

Capitano and Erik's the Charm alternated on the lead through fast 22.74, 45.67, 1:09.74 fractions.

Trieste's Honor sat two lengths behind the leaders while outside Dream Place, racing four wide around the first turn. He was content to stalk and made a strong move near the quarter pole to take the lead. He opened a one-half-length lead into the lane, but favored Capitano battled back and seemed to put his nose in front at midstretch before Trieste's Honor dug in and was beginning to inch away at the wire.

"He got to gawking around when we made the lead," winning jockey Russell Baze said. "He did the same thing in his last two races, but the competition wasn't as good and nobody came back on to challenge him. When Capitano got to his throat, he dug back in. I was getting away from him near the end. We could have gone around again, and he wasn't going to get by us."

Capitano's jockey Jose Valdivia Jr. was frustrated by his colt's performance.

"I think he may have given 75 percent today. From the top of the stretch all the way home, he was just looking at the other horse. He's content to just run along side another horse."

Winning trainer Mike Puype says his colt isn't ready for higher level 3-year-olds yet but said with the improvement he saw in the California Derby Trieste's Honor "may be able to climb up to their level."

The victory was Trieste's Honor's third straight, all in Northern California. He earned $55,000 for the victory, boosting his lifetime earnings to $95,330 with three wins in eight starts for owner-breeder Gary Biszantz's Cobra Farm.