ARCADIA, Calif. (April 14, 2011) – Indiana-bred Preamble stormed to his third straight victory at Santa Anita this year on Thursday when the 4-year-old Spendthrift Farm colt defeated Lucky Primo by two lengths in the $62,540 Karma Is King Purse at 1 1/16 miles.

After tracking pace-setter Lucky Primo into the stretch, the chestnut son of Mr. Greeley took a narrow lead while straightening away and burst clear in the closing stages under jockey Martin Garcia. The final time for the second condition allowance event for older horses was 1:41.98.

Lucky Primo, with Rafael Bejarano aboard, held second by a head over favored Uh Oh Bango, ridden by Joe Talamo.

The third choice in a field of five, Preamble paid $7.60, $3.80 and $2.40. Lucky Primo paid $3.60 and $2.40. Uh Oh Bango returned $2.10 to show.

After losing his first two starts early last year and going to the sidelines for 10 months, Preamble has staged quite a turnaround for trainer Richard Mandella.

“He’s a beautiful horse,” said Mandella, “but it’s taken him a while to come around. He’s always shown his promise, and now he’s kind of making up on all those promises.”

Preamble had finished fourth and sixth in maiden races at Santa Anita early last year before being turned out in April. “He was just sored up,” said Mandella.

He returned to break his maiden at 6 ½ furlongs on Feb. 17 before winning an optional claimer at one mile in a 15-1 upset on March 13. He won each of those races by 1 ¾ lengths after stalking the early pace as he did on Thursday.

“We thought he might show us something this year,” said Mandella. “We’ll hope he carries it on further. He’s a good-natured horse.”

Preamble’s third straight victory netted $35,400 for the Spendthrift Farm of B. Wayne Hughes to bring his total earnings to $104,440.

With the meet drawing toward its close on Sunday, Santa Anita offers an eight-race program on Friday with first post at 1 p.m.