Updated on 09/16/2011 6:39AM

Western Pride triumphs in San Fernando


ARCADIA, Calif. - Racing on a track that played kind to frontrunners, Western Pride scored an upset win in Saturday's $214,200 San Fernando Breeders' Cup Stakes* at Santa Anita.

The victory gave trainer James Chapman an opportunity to predict a successful winter for Western Pride, who has won four stakes in the last six months.

"He never gets credit for what he's done so far," Chapman said. "He's a great horse. They'll know what he's done now."

Western Pride ($11.40) prevailed by a length over fellow pacesetter Orientate. The pair fought through fractions of 22.28 and 44.86 seconds and were not threatened by the closers.

Orientate finished three lengths clear of Fancy As, a Canadian import.

Discreet Hero finished fourth, followed by Momentum (the even-money favorite), Bring Home Thegold, Sigfreto, Mo Mon, Stormin' Heaven and Reef Diver.

I Love Silver was scratched after developing an illness on Saturday morning.

Western Pride, who was ridden by Garrett Gomez, finished 1 1-16 miles in 1:41.30.

"I told Garrett to go to the front, but he broke a little sluggish," Chapman said. "It will take a good speed horse to slow him down."

Last year, Western Pride won the West Virginia Derby, Ohio Derby and Calder Derby for trainer Richard Estvanko.

The San Fernando was Western Pride's first start since finishing fourth in the Hollywood Derby on Nov. 25. Owned by Theresa McArthur and Carolyn Chapman, Western Pride was trained by Chapman at 2 and rejoined his stable prior to the Hollywood Derby.

Chapman said Western Pride was only "75 percent ready" for the Grade 2 San Fernando and was using the race as a prep for the $400,000 Strub Stakes on Feb. 2. Both stakes are restricted to 4-year-olds.

"He wasn't primed for this," Chapman said. "It took me two weeks to find a rider for this race."

* Macward won his first stakes in Saturday's $108,000 Sensational Star Handicap.

Closing from the back of the field, Macward ($11.80) caught the frontrunning Echo Eddie in the final furlong to win by three-quarters of a length. Ridden by Alex Solis for trainer Ian Jory, the 6-yeqar-old Macward ran about 6 1-2 furlongs on turf in 1:12.40.

Echo Eddie, the 3-2 favorite, set fractions of 21.38 and 43.06 seconds and held second, finishing 1 1-2 lengths in front of Love that Lion. Flying Rudolph finished fourth, followed by Spinelessjellyfish, Trailthefox and Lesters Boy.

Spinelessjellyfish and Echo Eddie had accounted for the last two runnings of the Sensational Star, which is restricted to California-breds.

Macward carried 116 pounds, two less than Echo Eddie.

Echo Eddie ran well despite the loss. A 5-year-old, he was making his first start since winning the Valiant Pete Handicap last April, a layoff caused by surgery to remove a bone chip from a knee.

Macward was second in the 1999 California Cup Mile and a close second in the Grade 3 San Simeon Handicap on the hillside turf course last April.

The Sensational Star Handicap was Macward's first start since finishing 12th in the Play the King Handicap at Woodbine last August. Owned by Marvin Malmuth, Macward has won 5 of 31 starts and $399,054.

San Fernando Breeders' Cup Stakes*

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