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Rager re-rallies to earn first win on dirt in Sunday Feature at Los Alamitos Race Course

Rager, who had earned his two previous wins on grass, cashed in his Los Alamitos debut, re-rallying to edge Holden the Lute in a $35,500 starter allowance Sunday.

Trained by Andrew Lerner for a partnership that includes Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson, Eric Homme and William Strauss, Rager won by a head under jockey Edwin Maldonado as the lukewarm 3-1 favorite in the field of 10.

Never far off the pace set by Catbernay and Palaleo, the 4-year-old Into Mischief gelding took the lead early in the stretch, but was passed by Holden the Lute, the 4-1 third choice, inside the eighth pole, before coming back on to win for the first time in three attempts on dirt.

Out of the Distorted Humor mare Distorted Champ, Rager has earned $150,510. He paid $8, $4.80 and $4.20.

Holden the Lute, who broke his maiden at Los Alamitos last Dec. 20 when claimed for $40,000 by his current connections from Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, returned $5.20 and $4.20. Chasing Fame, a 23-1 shot making his first start as a gelding, finished 3 ½ lengths further back and paid $7.20 to show.

Afternoon Heat, Mando, Single Me Out, the 3-1 second choice, Palaleo, Catbernay, Rayray and Gov From Above completed the order of finish.

Jockeys Trevor McCarthy and Alexis Centeno escaped injury after being involved in a scary incident in Sunday’s fourth race.

Sherlock, Centeno’s mount in the race for 2-year-old maidens bred or sired in California, broke sharply from his outside post, but steadily veered in sharply and crashed into Creative Peak, who had broken from the inside under McCarthy.

Both McCarthy, who had won the third race aboard Prince Magician, and Centeno were sent to nearby Long Beach Memorial for evaluation and were later released. Both riders were conscious and alert after the mishap.

Sherlock, a son of Stay Thirsty owned in partnership by breeder Terry Lovingier and trained by Walther Solis, crashed over the rail, ran through the infield and jumped the inner rail in the stretch before being corralled, suffered some scrapes and cuts on his left side, according to Los Alamitos steward Tom Ward. Creative Peak, a Creative Cause colt owned by Heinz Steinmann and trained by Jeff Metz, was examined by veterinarian Dr. Dana Stead and escaped uninjured.

Racing resumes Friday at Los Alamitos. Post time is 1 p.m.

Pick Six Carryover ($37,204) Awaits Friday

There will be a Pick Six carryover of $37,204 when racing resumes Friday at Los Alamitos, the fourth day of the Summer Thoroughbred Festival.

The carryover was clinched three races into the sequence Sunday after victories by Richards the Dream ($79.80) in the fourth, Butkus ($18.80) in the fifth and Olympic Legend ($23.80) in the sixth.

The Pick Six begins in Friday’s third race. Post time is 1 p.m. and scheduled post time for the third is 1:58 p.m.

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