Lord Nelson nips BC Juvenile champ Texas Red in San Vicente Stakes
Lord Nelson won the $200,000 San Vicente Stakes for 3-year-olds by a neck Sunday at Santa Anita, upsetting Breeders' Cup Juvenile champion Texas Red in an early prep for the Kentucky Derby.
Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Lord Nelson ran seven furlongs in 1:22.15 and paid $5.80, $2.60 and $2.20.
Texas Red returned $2.20 and $2.10 as the 3-5 favorite, while 23-1 shot Sir Samson was another three-quarters of a length back in third and paid $3.40 to show.
Bejarano swung 9-5 second choice Lord Nelson four horses wide turning for home.
''I had a perfect trip,'' Bejarano said. ''He broke a little slow, but then he took off and I was able to find a position right away. I let him go once we were clear. Texas Red was the horse to beat, and I was waiting for him. When he came to us I let him go and my horse took off again.''
Texas Red was making his first start since winning the Juvenile in November over the same track. He was last in the field of six turning for home behind a slow pace under Kent Desormeaux, whose brother Keith trains Texas Red. The colt carried high weight of 123 pounds -- five more than the rest of the field.
''It's a little disappointing, you know, because it's so close to winning, but the long-term goal (Kentucky Derby) is well within reach,'' said Keith Desormeaux, who purchased the chestnut son of Afleet Alex on behalf of his owners for $17,000 as a yearling. ''The pace was slow. Still to do what he did, you can't be disappointed.''
Desormeaux said Texas Red would be pointed toward the Grade 2 Risen Star at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans on Feb. 21 and return for the Santa Anita Derby on April 4.
Bench Warrant was fourth, followed by Jazzy Josh and Serbian Syclone.
The victory, worth $120,000, increased Lord Nelson's career earnings to $249,571, with three wins in five starts.