He was cut off at the start and hung out wide on the far turn, but that wasn't enough to keep Zeewat from capturing the $100,000 California Derby at Golden Gate Fields on Saturday.
Zeewat, ridden by Russell Baze, came from fourth in a field of seven to win the 11/16-mile race for 3-year-olds by a half-length over Wildcat Moon.
"He proved himself to be a pretty good horse today," winning trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said. "I was pleased with the way the horse handled himself."
Zeewat posted his fourth victory in six starts, finishing in 1:46.50 and paying $3.80 as the 4-to-5 favorite.
Hollendorfer, who owns the colt in partnership with George Todardo, said the next assignment for Zeewat will be the $200,000 El Camino Real Derby on Feb. 16 at GGF. Zeewat is a Triple Crown nominee.
Northwestern senior Jason Welch (Las Lomas High), seeking career victory 100, lost 9-8 to Nebraska's James Green at 157 pounds. Welch, who is ranked No. 2 in the nation, is 17-1 on the season. No. 18 Northwestern lost to No. 17 Nebraska 25-12.