Last year when it was called the Alamedan Handicap at the Alameda County Fair, Positive Response closed like a champ, but finished second to the speedster Gladding.
Fast forward to yesterday and the newly titled $50,000 County of Alameda Handicap where Positive Response was again entered. Positive Response appeared the best of the closers, but with Summer Hit entered in the race, it appeared the results could be the same.
But Saturday morning Summer Hit scratched with a fever and the race opened up.
"I was happy to see Summer Hit scratch," said jockey Kyle Frey.
Indeed. Pepnic and Control Seeker went out setting the pace, but neither possessed the front end speed or the staying power of Summer Hit. They went out quick enough, but on the hot day, both came back to the field.
"It didn't hurt to see those two out there in front pressing," said trainer Billy Morey.
Sitting 3-4 lengths out during the final turn, Frey felt pretty comfortable.
"At the top of the stretch it looked like the others had stopped running and we were creeping up on the," said Frey.
By midway through the lane Frey had Positive Response in full charge and the rest looked like indeed they had stopped.
"By that point we felt pretty good," said Morey.
With good reason, as Positive Response went on to win by over two lengths. Pepnic held on for second and Tribal Tribute finished third.