ARCADIA, Calif. -- Mr Gruff has made winning on Santa Anita's hillside turf course look easy this spring.
After winning an optional claimer on March 19 on the hillside turf course by 2 3/4 lengths, Mr Gruff scored an easy win in Saturday's $100,000 San Simeon Handicap, the second consecutive year he has prevailed in the Grade 3 race over about 6 1/2 furlongs.
Ridden by Joel Rosario, Mr Gruff ($3.60) stalked Trumpet Player Jay through an opening quarter-mile in 22.53 seconds, took the lead after a half-mile in 43.98 seconds and won by 2 1/4 lengths over Victor's Cry. Mr Gruff was timed in 1:11.53.
Victor's Cry finished three-quarters of a length in front of Ever a Friend in the field of seven.
Mr Gruff gave trainer Ron Ellis his third winner from four starters on Saturday's card. The Ellis-trained Canonize finished fourth in the San Simeon.
Owned by Gary Broad, Mr Gruff has won 5 of 8 starts and $229,600. Mr Gruff has won 5 of 6 starts on turf, all on the hillside turf course since January 2009.