ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) Kentuckian won the $100,000 Lazaro Barrera Stakes by 6 1/4 lengths Sunday at Santa Anita.
Ridden by Hall of Famer Mike Smith, Kentuckian ran seven furlongs in 1:20.97 and paid $4, $2.80 and $2.40 as the even-money favorite in the field of six.
Forest Blue returned $7.80 and $3.60, while The Gomper was another 2 1/4 lengths back in third and paid $2.80 to show.
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Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer trains both Kentuckian for owner Rick Porter of Lexington, Kentucky, and The Gomper.
The victory, worth $60,000, increased Kentuckian’s career earnings to $85,080, with two wins in three starts. He won his first race by 11 lengths at Golden Gate Fields on March 7 and then encountered traffic trouble while finishing third in the San Pedro Stakes on April 12.
”He has an unbelievably high cruising speed and stride,” Smith said. ”I knew we were going quick, but after a quarter mile, he just took a deep breath and got into a fluid stride. In the beginning, he was scrambling and was kind of tight and when they do that, they don’t always breathe right.”
The race is named for the late trainer of 1978 Triple Crown winner Affirmed.