FAVORED OMEGA STAR TAKES $200,000 ECHO EDDIE WITH TALAMO UP

ARCADIA, Calif. (March 30, 2013)—In a thrilling finish, 9-5 favorite Omega Star and Joe Talamo bested 23-1 longshot Fighting Hussar and Victor Espinoza by a scant nose in Saturday’s $200,000 Echo Eddie Stakes, covering 6 ½ furlongs in 1:17.19.

With a field of 10 California-bred 3-year-olds engaged, the early lead was hotly contested, with Omega Star, who broke from post eight, an unencumbered three lengths off the lead going to the far turn.

“That was a perfect trip,” said Talamo. “I had a lot of horse under me the whole way, tracked right outside, and he did the rest.”

Trained by John Shirreffs and owned and bred by Herman Sarkowsky and Martin Wygod, Omega Star is a gelding by Candy Ride who came off a seventh place finish in the Grade II San Felipe Stakes on March 9.

“It was a close one,” said Shirreffs. “I didn’t tell Joe anything. He’s ridden him and he knows him very well. The horse was on his toes today and I thought he was going to run well.”

Omega Star paid $5.60, $3.60 and $3.00.

In his first stakes victory, Omega Star bagged $110,000 and more than doubled his bankroll to $213,250. He now has two wins and two seconds from five lifetime starts.

Although Talamo and Omega Star had clear sailing, Could Be Trouble, who was the lone filly in the race and was supplemented by trainer Peter Miller for $25,000 on behalf of owners Altamira Racing Stable, Barber or Wachtel, and partners, had anything but a clean trip, as she took up sharply going to the far turn under Garrett Gomez.

Off as the second choice at 2-1, Could Be Trouble ended up a well-beaten seventh.

“It was unfortunate,” said Miller. “She was traveling really well and I thought we were going to win it. She had to take up pretty sharply and it was pretty much over after that. She looks like she came out of it fine. Garrett didn’t beat her up—after that he didn’t ask her for too much run.”

Fighting Hussar, trained and owned in-part by Hector Palma, finished a length and a half in front of third place finisher Lovmeister, who was off at 100-1 with Agapito Delgadillo.

“He ran big,” said Espinoza of his mount, Fighting Hussar. “When he takes the lead he kind of waits for other horses. He fought back today but he was a little jump late. Not good enough.”

Fighting Hussar paid $12.60 and $7.60.

Lovemeister paid $22.40 to show.

First post time at Santa Anita on Sunday is at 12:30 p.m. The $70,000 Santana Mile, for older horses, headlines a nine-race program.