ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) Big John B overcame trouble around the final turn and went on to a 2¼-length victory in the $100,000 Tokyo City Cup on Sunday at Santa Anita.
Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Big John B ran 1½ miles in 2:28.79 and paid $5, $3.40 and $2.60 as the 3-2 favorite.
Class Leader returned $5.40 and $3.60, while Blingo was another 2¼ lengths back in third and paid $5 to show.
Big John B was last as the seven-horse field went into the clubhouse turn and had to wait for room as he hugged the rail around the far turn. Approaching the quarter pole, Bejarano split horses three-wide and overhauled Class Leader with a sixteenth of a mile to go.
"I knew there would be only be two or three horses with speed and they tried to go slow, but my horse only has one style, he likes to come from behind," Bejarano said. "I wasn't panicking. I knew that I had a lot of horse, so I was comfortable."
The victory, worth $60,000, increased Big John B's career earnings to $849,770, with 15 wins in 40 starts.
The race was trainer Phil D'Amato's third consecutive win on the card, giving him a 35-32 lead over Doug O'Neill in the trainers' standings with four days left in the winter meet.
"I never entered this meet knowing I was going to make a run at the training title at all, believe me," D'Amato said. "But I wouldn't mind (winning) it now. It's bringing my whole team together."