Michael Lombardi's Lombo used his sprinter's speed to get to the front and kept going all the way to the finish to pick up 10 Road to the Kentucky Derby points in the Grade 3, $150,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes on Feb. 3 at Santa Anita Park.
Fast out of the gate under jockey Flavien Prat, the Graydar colt opened up a clear lead in the 1 1/16-mile Lewis, and shrugged off several challengers off in the second turn en route to a two-length victory.
"He ran a big race," Prat said of Lombo, who broke his maiden in a 6 ½-furlong sprint Jan. 20 at Santa Anita. "They put a little pressure on him down the backside, but he was nice and relaxed. I worked him last week and he's got a lot of speed, (and) I was concerned he might want to go, but he was relaxed. That was my main concern, but he relaxed and then went on."
Mike Pender-trained Lombo hit the wire in 1:45.41 to score at odds of 8.70-1. Ayacara, who was second to last in the backstretch, closed on the rail to pick up second, 2 ¼ lengths ahead of Dark Vader. Ayacara earned four Road to the Kentucky Derby points, Dark Vader two, and fourth-place finisher Regulate one point.
"He's definitely a high-octane horse," Pender said of Lombo. "Apparently Graydar had some of the same characteristics and Unbridled's Song (Graydar's sire) as well. He's just a big kid and (has) a little ADD to him, but he's starting to figure it out. When he does really figure it out, I think he'll be dangerous."
Lombo now has a 2-0-1 record from four starts and $129,225 in earnings. He was a $75,000 purchase by Pender out of the Ocala Breeders' Sales March sale of 2-year-olds in training.