INGLEWOOD, Calif. (Dec. 18, 2008) — Victory Pete took command from the start and cruised to a 5 1/2-length victory over Lake Meza under Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith in Thursday’s $39,400 allowance feature at Hollywood Park.

A change in surface didn’t adversely affect the 7-5 favorite as he covered 1 1/16 miles on Cushion Track in 1:41.82 to win for the second time in eight starts. The 3-year-old son of Five Star Day was making his second start following an eight-month layoff.

Victory Pete, trained by Alexis Barba for Ellen and Peter Johnson Sr., paid $4.80, $3.20 and $2.20. Lake Meza, with David Flores aboard, returned $5.20 and $2.80, while the show payoff on Funny Me with Rafael Bejarano up was $2.40.

The victory was worth $23,400, boosting Victory Pete’s earnings to $101,420.