ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 3, 2010) – Unable to make much impact with Grade II company in his previous two starts, Victor’s Cry uncorked a furious rally on Wednesday to capture Santa Anita’s $55,554 allowance feature at 6 ½ furlongs over the track’s hillside turf course.

After jockey Garrett Gomez sat patiently in eighth among the nine entrants during the early running, Victor’s Cry streaked home the final eighth to overtake Cherokee Heaven by one-half length while running the distance in 1:11.34.

Ridden by Joe Talamo after scoring an upset in Santa Anita’s Impressive Luck Handicap, Cherokee Heaven had seemed headed for a repeat victory when squeezing through along the rail to open a clear lead before getting nailed in the final strides.

Stoneside, with Martin Pedroza in the saddle, picked up third, a head behind the runner-up. Get Funky, the 5-2 favorite, faded to fifth after setting sprightly fractions that included a half-mile in 42.92.

The winner paid $18, $7.80 and $5.40. The mutuels on Cherokee Heaven were $6.60 and $4.60. Stoneside paid $4.40 to show.

The victory was the fourth in 14 starts for Victor’s Cry, trained by Eoin Harty for Equilete Stable. The winning purse of $31,800 hiked his earnings to $177,060.

The fifth longest price in the field, Victor’s Cry clearly benefited from the class drop. He had won a pair of optional claimers prior to finishing fourth in the Grade II Del Mar Mile Handicap last summer and sixth in the Grade II Oak Tree Mile, his most recent start on Oct. 10.

Racing continues on Thursday at Santa Anita with an eight-race program. First post is at 1 p.m.