Jockey Laffit Pincay, thrown from his mount in the fourth race, came back to ride Badger Land to a nose victory over the heavily favored Ferdinand in the $81,850 Los Feliz Stakes for 3-year-olds Saturday at Santa Anita.
Ferdinand, ridden by Bill Shoemaker, easily moved up from third place on the backstretch to take a lead at the head of the stretch. But Pincay got Badger Land rolling on the outside and raced head-and-head with Ferdinand to the wire. Cut By Glass was a distant third in the field of seven.
Pincay was thrown in the fourth race by the favored Clear Choice, who bolted into the rail shortly after the start of the six-furlong sprint. The jockey sat out his next race but came back to score the upset feature win.
Badger Land raced the mile in 1:36 1/5 and rewarded his backers in the crowd of 27,000 with $12.40, $4.80 and $3.60 payoffs. Ferdinand paid $3 and $2.40, while Cut By Glass returned $4.
The Los Feliz was the first stakes of the year at Santa Anita for 3-year-olds seeking recognition as possible Kentucky Derby prospects.
Badger Land is a son of Codex, who won the Sant Anita Derby in 1980, as well as the Preakness. The victory earned a purse of $48,100 for the partnership of Melvin Hatley and Jeff Lukas, son of trainer Wayne Lukas.
Turf specialists will race today in the $80,000 San Gabriel Handicap at 1 1/8 miles, with Yashgan and Drumalis heading a field of 10.