Western took advantage of a slow pace to take the lead near the start and was never headed Saturday in winning the $156,750 San Luis Obispo Handicap on the turf at Santa Anita by nearly three lengths.
Jockey Gary Stevens took the 7-year-old son of Ack Ack to the lead coming out of the gate on the hillside portion of the 1 1/2-mile race. The heavily favored Scrupules and Good as Diamonds alternated behind Western, but the leader pulled away in the stretch.
Scrupules finished second, Strong Dollar closed with a rush for third and Fact Finder was fourth in the field of five. Good as Diamonds finished last.
Western, sent off at odds of 8-1, paid $19.60, $5 and $2.60. Scrupules paid $2.60 and $2.20, while Strong Dollar returned $2.40.
Western, timed in 2:26, is owned and was bred by Aaron Jones of Eugene, Ore. Jones and trainer Laz Barrera combined last year to win the San Luis Obispo with Sir Pele.
The victory, worth $89,250, increased Western's earnings to more than $450,000.
Hail Bold King and Lord at War, head a field of seven entered to run in today's $200,000-added San Antonio Handicap at Santa Anita.
Hail Bold King and Lord at War, both trained by Charlie Whittingham, were assigned co-high weights of 122 pounds for the 1 1/8-mile event for 4-year-olds and up.
Hail Bold King, a 4-year-old colt who has won five of 16 starts and earned $446,633, will be ridden by Eddie Delahoussaye and will break out of post position No. 2.
Lord at War, a 5-year-old Argentine-bred horse who has won seven of his nine starts and earned $234,589, will be ridden by Bill Shoemaker and will break out of post position No. 4.
Others entered are Video Kid, who will be ridden by Rafael Meza and was assigned 118 pounds; American Standard, Laffit Pincay, 118 pounds; My Habitony, Darrel McHargue, 116 pounds; Al Mamoon, Chris McCarron, 114 pounds; and Tennessee Rite, Gary Stevens, 112 pounds.
If all seven entries go to the post, the total purse will be $215,200 and the winner will earn $125,200.
Coyotero, ridden by Carlos Delgadillo, led from start to finish in winning the $54,400 Albany Handicap at Golden Gate Fields in Albany, Calif.
Artichoke, a 6-5 favorite, broke last from the starting gate and finished second by half a length in the six-furlong race. Travelling Victor was third. The winning time was 1:09 2-5.
Coyotero carried 112 pounds and returned $7.80, $3.60 and $2.60. It was the third straight victory for the 7-year-old gelding.
A pair of longshots, Nepal and Solidified, took top honors in their respective divisions during the $100,000 Canadian Turf handicap at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Fla.
In the first division, Nepal, ridden by Jerry Bailey, equalled the track record of 1:40 for the 1 1-16 mile course and paid $40.40, $18.20 and $9.60.
Dr. Schwartzman finished 1 lengths back and returned $8.80 and $5.40, while Roving Minstrel paid $4.00 to show.
During Saturday's second featured race, Solidified, carrying Jean Cruguet, was timed in 1:40 3-5 and paid $20.20, $11.00 and $5.80.
Selous Scout, losing by a head, returned $14.80 and $6.20. Jack Slade paid $4.20 to show.
Nepal, owned by Mandysland Farm, won two of 10 starts and garnered $56,883 last year. The 5-year-old son of Raja Baba took home $64,410 for Saturday's victory--his second of 1985.
Solidified, a 4-year-old son of Tell, is bred and owned by Harbor View Farm.