Arcadia, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Longshot Blingo, ridden by Aaron Gryder, came from off the pace to capture Saturday's $300,000 San Antonio Stakes at Santa Anita.
The 1 1/8-mile race featured two-time defending winner Game On Dude who went off as the 3-10 favorite in the seven-horse field. Blingo was sent off as a 15-1 longshot from post 6.
Game On Dude and 7-2 second choice Blueskiesnrainbows battled for the lead through the backstretch with Blingo racing in fifth. Quickly joining the leaders nearing the far turn was 26-1 longshot Imperative who moved through on the inside to take the lead around the final turn.
At the top the stretch five horses were across the track. Game On Dude began to tire as the field approached the furlong pole. Coming away on the lead were Blingo and Imperative with about 150 yards to run.
Blingo and Imperative battled to the finish with Blingo hitting the wire a half-length to the good for the biggest win of his career. Imperative was second followed by American Blend, Majestic Harbor, Game On Dude, Blueskiesnrainbows and Willyconker.
"I'm very happy with this race and how (Blingo) positioned himself," Gryder said. "I've ridden Imperative before and he ran one hell of a race today but my horse just kept digging."
The time for the San Antonio was 1:47.95 on a fast track.
Owned by Jerry and Ann Moss, and trained by John Shirreffs, Blingo pocketed $180,000 with victory. The 5-year-old gelding has recorded four wins in 11 lifetime starts for $364,408.
"He rode him great; it was a perfectly-timed ride. He left a little something at the end and we managed to get through," Jerry Moss said on Gryder's ride.
Blingo broke his maiden first time out in November 2011. After consecutive sixth-place finishes he won the La Puente Stakes on the turf as a 3-year-old two years ago. His next win came in a minor stakes at Belmont Park last October. Most recently he was sixth behind Blueskiesnrainbows in the San Pasqual Handicap at Santa Anita on Jan. 11.
Blingo returned $33.80, $11.40 and $27.20. Imperative paid $12.20 and $22.40, and American Blend paid $25.80 to show.