Updated on 09/16/2011 6:48AM

USS Tinosa proves best in Sham


ARCADIA, Calif. - USS Tinosa won his first race outside of Ohio in Friday's * for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita.

Ridden by Kent Desormeaux, USS Tinosa finished 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.11, winning by 4 1-2 lengths over Puerto Banus. The winner will continue on the trail of the Triple Crown, but trainer Jerry Hollendorfer does not have plans solidified.

USS Tinosa was third for much of the race, tracking the pace of 23.21 and 47.17 seconds set by Shah Jehan and Puerto Banus. Desormeaux kept USS Tinosa wide on the backstretch and through the final turn, emerging with the lead turning for home.

"He relaxed well, but the fight was in the final quarter mile when we turned for home," Desormeaux said.

USS Tinosa led by 1 1-2 lengths at the eighth pole and won in a drive.

"I was hoping he'd lay off the pace," Hollendorfer said. "The two speed horses went out and we were sitting there."

The Sham Stakes, restricted to non-winners of a first-place purse of $50,000 at a mile or over, ended a three-racing losing streak for USS Tinosa, who is owned by Peter Abruzzo and Barry Thiriot.

Bought privately last fall, USS Tinosa was third in the Grade 3 Golden Gate Derby on Jan. 12. As a 2-year-old, he won two stakes for Ohio-breds at Thistledown and Beulah Park before being acquired by his current owners.

Hot Contest finished third, followed by Definite Edge, Cottonwood Cowboy and Shah Jehan. A $4.4 million yearling purchase Shah Jehan was making his first start in the United States.

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