ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 16, 2009) – Before a “Free Friday” on-track crowd of 6,026, the lightly-raced 4-year-old gelding Aggie Engineer scored impressively in his third career start when he overtook A Lil Dumaani to capture Santa Anita’s $51,280 allowance feature by 1 ¾ lengths while negotiating six furlongs in 1:08.56.

Under a confident hand ride by Alex Solis, the son of E Dubai rallied from third after going off as the 9-5 second choice in the field of six. Onetimeatbandcamp, the 3-2 favorite, finished third, 2 ¾ lengths behind A Lil Dumaani.

Aggie Engineer paid $5.60, $3.40 and $2.40. A Lil Dumaani, ridden by Martin Garcia, returned $5 and $2.80. The show price on Onetimeatbandcamp, with Joe Talamo aboard, was $2.40.

After winning his maiden debut at 9-1 odds last February at Santa Anita, Aggie Engineer went to the sidelines for ten months. He returned to action for trainer Paddy Gallagher in an allowance event at Hollywood Park on Dec. 20 and finished third.

His victory on Friday was worth $28,800 and increased his earnings to $62,160.

Today marked the third of Santa Anita’s meet-long “Free Friday” promotions that includes free general admission, box seating as available and $1 dollar concessions such as beer, sodas, hot dogs and popcorn.

“Today’s attendance was very encouraging,” said Santa Anita Vice President of Marketing Allen Gutterman. “Here it is week three, and we’re still gaining traction with this promotion. It was great to have another Pick Six carryover today, but we’ve seen many times that attendance isn’t necessarily driven by even two-day carryovers.

“We believe this increase in attendance is overwhelmingly due to the value people see in the overall promotion. We’re seeing people here on Fridays, especially young people, that we don’t normally see. We’re optimistic this is going to continue to snowball as the meet progresses,” he added.

Santa Anita on Saturday begins a three-day racing weekend that extends through Monday’s Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and offers a total of six stakes races.

Three graded stakes will be presented on Saturday’s program including the Grade II, $150,000 San Fernando Stakes for 4-year-olds, the Grade III, $100,000 San Rafael Stakes for 3-year-olds, and the Grade II, $150,000 Santa Ynez Stakes for 3-year-old fillies. First post for the nine-race card is at 12:30 p.m.