Informed ran down a loose-on-the-lead Mast Track in the final strides to score a nose victory on Sunday at Del Mar in the Grade 2, $250,000 San Diego Handicap, a race in which Well Armed, making his first start since his victory in the Dubai World Cup four months ago, faltered badly to finish last in the field of eight.
With the victory, Informed earned an automatic berth in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile through the "Win and You re In" program.
Informed ($15) needed the length of the stretch to catch Mast Track, who was hustled to the lead by jockey David Flores. But Informed, under jockey Tyler Baze, caught him right on the wire to win by a nose. It was another 2 3/4 lengths back to Song of Navarone in third.
Informed covered 1 1/16 miles on Polytrack in 1:41.91. A former claimer, he has now won 6 of 22 starts, including two of his last three. He captured the Grade 1 Californian at Hollywood Park in June, then was sixth of 13 in the Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup.
Russ Sarno owns Informed, 5, along with the W C Racing stable of Josh Kaplan, and Mark Verge's Westside Rentals.com. He is trained by Doug O'Neill.
Eoin Harty, who trains Well Armed, could offer no excuses for his horse's dreadful performance as the 3-5 favorite under jockey Aaron Gryder.
"It's a big surprise," Harty said. "I thought he'd be right there. Aaron was having to niggle at him to keep up."