Thursday, December 04, 2008


INGLEWOOD, Calif. (Dec. 3, 2008) — Favorite Porto Santo, winner of the 2006 Bien Bien Stakes in his only previous start on the Hollywood Park turf course, caught pacesetter Black Astor in mid-stretch and inched away to score a one-length victory under jockey Victor Espinoza in Wednesday’s $50,000 allowance feature.

The 5-year-old French-bred covered 1 1/16 miles on the Lakeside Turf Course in 1:40.69 to score his fifth win in 22 starts, paying $6, $3.60 and $2.80. Black Astor returned $5 and $3.60, while the show payoff on Band of Thunder was $2.80.

Porto Santo, who races for the Lanni Family Trust and Mercedes Stable, has placed in graded stakes on turf and on synthetic surfaces. The winner’s share of $30,000 increased his earnings to $325,451.

The victory continued a hot streak for trainer Julio Canani, who saddled Hyperbaric to win the Citation Handicap during the recent Turf Festival.

In the $43,000 co-feature, New Zealand-bred Belmont Cat — the 9-5 favorite — slipped through an opening along the rail in mid-stretch under Mike Smith en route to victory in her U.S. debut.

Despite the victories by favorite in the co-features, there is a Pick Six carryover of $88,094 on Thursday.

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