Saturday proved to be a banner day for Fresno County’s pre-eminent horse racing powerhouse at the Big Fresno Fairgrounds.
Despite a slow start, Harris Farms-owned Fashionably Fast staged a rally in the turn of The Big Fresno Fair’s Harris Farms Stakes to capture the Fair’s single largest purse of the meet – $100,000.
Baja Sur and third-place finisher My Friend Emma slugged it out out of the gate, with Fashionably Fast – jockeyed by Tiago Pereira – sitting comfortably in third before the turn.
“The race set up perfectly for us with some early speed that allowed him to stalk and pounce, which is what he did turning for home,” Harris Farms chief, and Fashionably Fast co-owner, John Harris said.
Three wide in the final strides, Fashionably Fast overtook Baja Sur and My Friend Emma for the victory.
In his third-straight victory, Fashionably Fast dealt 3-year-old Baja Sur his first career second-place finish.
Saturday’s Harris Farms comeback by Fashionably Fast arrived followed back-to-back victories at Del Mar in July and August.
“Tiago Pereira rode him perfectly and was unfazed by the second place horse, Baja Sur, bumping him a few times as they came down the stretch,” Harris said.
The six furlong Harris Farms Stakes was restricted to California bred or California sired horses ages 3-years-old and up.
“I love to win a race anywhere, for any purse,” Harris Farms chief John Harris said in a statement after the race. “But this is a particular thrill to have a nice horse like Fashionably Fast come along and win impressively in a big race at home.”
Harris noted that “we must have had about half the grandstand join my partners John Nicoletti and Per Antonsen in the winner’s circle.”
“That’s what racing should be like,” he added. “It was a fun time had by all.”