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Mar 18, 2011

Premier Pegasus romps in San Felipe Stakes

By: SPORTS NETWORK


Arcadia, CA (Sports Network) - Premier Pegasus, ridden by Alonso Quinonez, exploded coming off the turn to dominate in Saturday's $250,000 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita Park. The San Felipe serves as the last local prep for the Santa Anita Derby on April 9.

Sent off at 7-1 in the 10 horse field, Premier Pegasus was racing in mid-pack up the backstretch. With a little more than a half-mile to run he began moving along inside. On the turn for home Quinonez moved his mount off the rail for more running room.

Sitting on the lead for most of the race was Comma to the Top along with 5-2 second choice Runflatout. Also racing off the pace was 2-1 favorite Jaycito.

Premier Pegasus drew even with Comma to the Top coming off the turn and then immediately gained the lead entering the stretch. Owned and trained by Myung Kwon Cho, Premier Pegasus kept accelerating down the stretch and hit the wire 7 3/4-lengths to the good.

Finishing second in the 1 1/16-mile race was Jaycito followed by Bench Points, Comma to the Top, Quail Hill, Awesome Patriot, Surrey Star, Jakesam, Albergatti and Runflatout.

Premier Pegasus covered the distance on a fast track in 1:41.23.

The win qualifies Premier Pegasus for the Preakness 5.5 bonus. If the three- year-old goes on to take the Santa Anita Derby and the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico on May 21, he will earn a $5.5 million bonus for his owner-trainer.

Premier Pegasus earned $150,000 with the San Felipe victory in just his second start of the year. Last month he was third in the San Vicente Stakes to The Factor.

"My horse's last race was a good one," Quinonez said. "It's no disgrace finishing behind The Factor and Sway Away. His last race helped him a lot. I think he really needed it."

The colt has won four of five starts, including all three in 2010, and had total earnings of $293,400. As a two-year-old he won the Hollywood Prevue and John Goodman Stakes.

Premier Pegasus returned $16.60, $7.20 and $5.00. Jaycito paid $4.60 and $3.60, and Bench Points paid $5.40 to show.



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