POMONA, CA, SEPT. 10, 2010-Pinal paid a quick dividend on a $50,000 claim two races back on July 4 at Hollywood Park by winning Friday's $50,000 Jim Kostoff Stakes at Fairplex Park, earning $27,750 for the Jay Em Ess Stable of Mace and Samantha Siegel.
Ridden by Alonso Quinonez, the 3-year-old Arizona-bred Rocky Bar gelding won by a half-length over Bench the Judge, Martin Pedroza up. Pace-setter Danzip was third in the field of nine 3-year-olds going seven furlongs. Time for the distance was 1:23.26 under 120 pounds.
"It's all a matter of how they handle the track here" trainer Ron Ellis explained in why he entered Pinal in the Kostoff after running in a $62,500 claiming race one race following the claim. "It looked like he was outclassed on paper but he seemed like the type of horse that would handle it, so we gave it a shot."
Added Quinonez: "I just let the leaders go on the backstretch . . . I wanted to stay close, not let them get away from me. Turning for home, I asked my horse and he responded. He came back a little bit, but I knew I had a lot of horse."
Saturday's 12-race, all-thoroughbred program features the $50,000 E.B. Johnston Stakes for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/16 miles. U R All That I Am, a California-bred daughter of Valid Wager trained by Jerry Hollendorfer and ridden by Pedroza, is the 7-5 morning line favorite. First post time is 1 p.m.