SIX STAKES RACES ON THE FINAL WEEKEND
Pomona, Calif. (Sept. 17, 2008) -- Fairplex Park enters its final six days of racing this week, saving the best for last.
On Friday the 2-year-olds will take center stage in the $65,000 Gateway To Glory Stakes at 1 1/16 miles, then on Saturday racing secretary Richard Wheeler has a double-headed on his schedule with the $65,000 C.T.B.A. Marian Stakes at 1 1/16 miles for 3-year-old fillies bred in California and the $100,000 Pomona Derby at "about9 D 1 1/8 miles for 3-year-olds.
However, Wheeler has earmarked Sunday as a stakes extravaganza with four top races. The fillies and mares will go postward in the $100,000 Las Mardrinas Handicap at 1 1/16 miles, the best sprinters on the grounds will tangle in the $65,000 Governor's Cup at 6 furlongs, while the fillies and mares will meet in the $65,000 Bangles and Beads Stakes at 6 furlongs.
Then comes the marquee race of the 2008 season with the $125,000 Ralph M. Hinds Pomona Invitational Handicap at "about 1 1/8 miles.
Fairplex will drop the drapes on its 70th racing season on Monday.
GATEWAY TO GLORY APPEARS WIDE-OPEN
A total of 11 2-year-olds have entered Friday's $65,000 Gateway To Glory Stakes at 1 1/16 miles, but only one horse, Overtime Glory, has ever tried a distance of ground.
For most of the trainers the Gateway To Glory Stakes will be a test to see if their horses can handle the three-turned race.
One of those trainers is Clifford Sise who will saddle Fu Peg He Rat, fifth in last month's Grade II Best Pal Stakes at 6 furlongs at Del Mar.
If you wondered on how the horse got such an unusual name, all you have to do is look at the breeding---Fusaichi Pegasus out of a Royal Herat mare.
"He's doing good," said Sise about his young colt. "His problem has been not changing leads. He runs on his left lead, and (jockey) Tyler (Baze, who rode him in the Best Pal) said that he would have been right there if he had switched leads. We'll change his equipment and try a ring bit and see if it helps him."
Fu Peg He Rat has never raced over the tricky, hairpin turns of the Pomona course, but Sise had him on the Fairplex track on Wednesday morning.
=2 0"I jogged him the wrong way on Wednesday and he'll gallop tomorrow to get familiar with the surroundings," explained Sise. "As far as strategy goes it will be up to David (Flores, who will be riding the colt for the first time). But I expect him to be third, or fourth early and then we'll see what happens."
Charlie's Moment, who will be ridden by jockey Joel Rosario, also exits the Best Pal Stakes, finishing fourth, a little more than a length in front of Fu Peg He Rat. He has displayed good early speed in his four career races and should be forwardly placed throughout.
Also set to start are All Saint, Aquicksting, Dinner At Jake's, Coastal Souvenir, Pamperos Edge, It's Gotta Be Us, and Flash Dancer. Skim Scam is mired on the also-eligible list.