Consolidator was a surprise winner of the $250,000 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita Park, taking command at the top of the stretch and pulling away for a record-setting victory yesterday that gave trainer D. Wayne Lukas a top Kentucky Derby hopeful.
Consolidator, fourth as the even-money favorite in the San Vicente Feb. 13, was ready for his second race at Santa Anita, covering 1 1/16 miles in 1:40.11 -- a full second faster than the standard set by Pole Position (1979).
And Consolidator's winning margin of 6 1/2 lengths over Giacomo was also a record -- a half-length more than Variety Road's winning margin in 1986.
Consolidator, ridden by Rafael Bejarano, was never far off the pace, battling Giacomo and 41-1 long shot Lucky J.H. for the lead throughout the race for 3-year-olds before a sudden burst of speed put the winner far ahead. Don't Get Mad was third. Wilko, the Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner as a 28-1 long shot, finished fourth. He was making his 3-year-old debut.Consolidator, a 7-1 outsider, paid $16.40, $6.80, and $4.20.
Rebel Stakes -- Greater Good broke fast, eased into the pack, and stormed past previously unbeaten Rockport Harbor late in the stretch to win the $250,000 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., by a half-length. A winner in four of five previous races, Greater Good was carrying top weight of 122 pounds in the 1 1/16 mile race, a prep for the Kentucky Derby.
Odds-on favorite Afleet Alex, with John Velazquez aboard for the first time, was in contention but fell way back in the field and finished last in the six-horse field. Rockport Harbor, in his 3-year-old debut after building a 4-for-4 record last year, led from the start but couldn't hold off Greater Good.
Afleet Alex's stable said he had a lung infection, but would be ready for the Arkansas Derby April 16.
The winning time was 1:44.92. Greater Good paid $11.20, $4, and $11.20 and Rockport Harbor, ridden by Stewart Elliott, paid $3.40 and $9.80.
Tampa Bay Derby -- Heavy favorite Sun King pulled away in the stretch and easily won the $250,000 Tampa Bay Derby, solidifying his status as one of the top Kentucky Derby contenders. Trained by Nick Zito, Sun King improved to 2 for 2 this year by seizing control of the 1 1/16-mile race from the start. The winning time was 1.43.98, just off the track record of 1:43.40. Forever Wild was second. Sun King went off as the 1-20 favorite and returned $2.10, $2.10, and $2.10.
Gotham Stakes -- Survivalist swept past the field in the final strides and withstood a steward's inquiry at Aqueduct in New York. Pavo, who finished second in a gallant effort, was disqualified to fourth after stewards ruled that the colt's jockey, Alan Garcia, inadvertently whipped Naughty New Yorker during a wild stretch run. Garcia somehow managed to ride the race with his feet out of the stirrups.
In the revised order of finish, 6-5 favorite Galloping Grocer was moved up to second from third, and Naughty New Yorker, whose rider Jean-Luc Samyn claimed foul, was moved up to third place. Samyn's objection was against Survivalist, but the stewards ruled it was Pavo's rider who committed the foul.The winning time for the one-turn mile was 1:35.61. Survivalist paid $8.90, $4, and $2.90.