Winless in 16 races since November of 2008, Dakota Phone
finally made it back to the winner's circle with a come-from-behind triumph in
the featured Grade II $200,000 San Diego Handicap under leading jockey Joel
Last in the early stages of the mile and one-sixteenth main
track contest, Dakota Phone circled the field on the stretch turn and
outfinished 3-1 favored Battle of Hastings to win by a half-length in 1:43.55
for the distance.
Battle of Hastings, running for the first time in his career
on a synthetic track after having success on the grass, battled gamely in the
stretch under Joe Talamo to be 2 1/4 lengths in front of Enriched who was rated
on the lead by Patrick Valenzuela and held on well to be third. Isle of Giant's
was fourth in the field of nine horses. Richard's Kid, third in the Cougar II
Handicap Friday, was withdrawn from the San Diego line-up.
Dakota Phone, a five-year-old gelded son of Zavala, is owned by the partnership of
John Carver, Halo Farms and George Todaro and trained by Jerry Hollendorfer.
His previous victory was in the Forty Niner Stakes at Golden Gate Fields in
Northern California November 28, 2008.
Earning $120,000 with his fifth win in 29 lifetime starts,
Dakota Phone returned $11.40, $5.20 and $3.60. His lifetime bankroll is
$583,810. Battle of Hastings paid $4.80 and $4.20, while Enriched returned
$4.60 to show.
In the afternoon's supporting feature, the $100,000 Fleet
Treat Stakes for California-bred three-year-old fillies, La Nez and jockey
Victor Espinoza employed similar last-to-first tactics to win by a half-length
over Thisoneforyou, with longshot Tornado Betty third in a field of nine
La Nez, owned by Class Racing and trainer Eric Kruljac,
stepped seven furlongs in 1:23.45 and paid $14.40 for her upset triumph. It was
her third win in eleven races and worth a first prize of $60,000.
Attendance today was 25,348.