POMONA, Calif. (Sept. 21, 2006) - Spark of Dubai exploded around the final turn and kicked clear into the stretch to cruise to an easy 6 3/4-length romp in Thursday's $65,000 Gateway to Glory Stakes at Fairplex Park.
Ridden by Fairplex's all-time leading stakes rider, David Flores, Spark of Dubai was sent off as the 9-5 post-time favorite and completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:46.99. While Spark of Dubai's victory may not have come as a surprise to bettors, the rest of the card was a little less formful, generating a Pick Six carryover of $55,528 for Friday.
Carryovers seem to be common practice these days in Pomona, after Wednesday produced a record-sized Pick Six jackpot here of nearly $4-million following a three-day rollover. The winners throughout Thursday's Pick Six races were Desperatehorsewife ($11.80), Lupita'sluckyangel ($9.40), Against the Law ($14.20), Five Times a Cat ($14.80), Spark of Dubai ($5.60) and Charging Away ($3.80) in the nightcap. Consolation tickets with five of six correct returned $849.
In the featured Gateway to Glory Stakes, Spark of Dubai responded quickly to a couple taps of Flores' whip on the backstretch, blew past the leaders around the turn and was geared down at the wire.
"The race set up perfect," said Flores, who has 57 career stakes victories at the Pomona bullring, including four at this meet. "He was very comfortable today, and broke in a better position.
"There were only two horses with any speed and I was able to sit right off of them without rushing my horse. And when it was time to go on the backside, he accelerated very, very fast. He was much the better horse."
Thursday's victory in the Gateway to Glory Stakes was the third-consecutive victory for Spark of Dubai, who also won the Beau Brummel Stakes here on Sept. 13. Trained by Juan Garcia, the 2-year-old colt by E Dubai has earned $8