MAGICAL BAND & ESPINOZA UPSET $60,000 SALEM PURSE; SPEEDSTER HOLDS ON TO WIN BY A NOSE AND PAYS $18.80 TO WIN

PICK SIX CARRYOVER OF $52,727 INTO SATURDAY, FIRST POST TIME AT 12:30 P.M.

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 12, 2013)—Victor Espinoza channeled Magical Band’s considerable speed in a profitable direction Friday, as the Hector Palma owned and trained filly roared to the front passing the half mile pole and hung on to win Santa Anita’s $60,000 Salem Purse by a nose while covering 6 ½ furlongs in 1:16.53.

Off at odds of 8-1 in the six-horse Salem, a second condition allowance for older fillies and mares, Magical Band made the early lead in her most recent start on Feb. 14, but finished a tiring fourth coming down the hillside turf course at 6 ½ furlongs.

“She’s real fast away from the gate, but she usually breaks two or three steps slow,” said Espinoza. “Today, I wanted to ride her a little different and take her back a little early. I did, but she really grabbed the bridle, so I got her outside and she just kept running.”

The fourth choice in the betting, Magical Band paid $18.80, $7.20 and $4.80.

Owned by Palma or B G Stable, Magical Band picked up $36,000 for the win and increased her earnings to $132,950. A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred filly by Dixie Union, she improved her record to 9-3-2-0.

“She’s not a filly that can go farther than six furlongs or so,” said Palma. “Today, Victor rode a fantastic race. He held her out of the gate and didn’t rush but she’s still got the speed to get up and go. Everything came out good today.”

Conkate, the second choice at 5-2 under Edwin Maldonado, was last at the half mile pole and with splits of 22.26, 44.86 and 1:09.78 to exploit, came flying to be second best, 3 ½ lengths in front of Nihilist and Kevin Krigger.

Conkate paid $4.00 and $2.60.

Nihilist, off at 9-1, was head and head early with 6-5 favorite My Philly Girl, who was never a factor and finished fifth with Mike Smith up.

Nihilist finished three lengths in front of Quizzical and Martin Garcia and paid $4.60 to show.

There is a Pick Six carryover into Saturday of $52,727. The Pick Six will cover races four through nine. First post time is 12:30 p.m.