Returning to the track where he scored his maiden victory in 1988, Double Quick passed the $500,000 mark in earnings with a wire-to-wire victory in the $53,200 Phil D. Shepherd Stakes at Fairplex Park Saturday.
Showing a fondness for the tight turns on the 5/8-mile oval, Double Quick turned back Monfarid on the backside and had plenty left to hold off Gentleman's Honor in the 1 1/16-mile feature. Monfarid finished third, while 3-5 favorite Shaynoor faded to sixth in the field of seven older runners.
"He seems to run his best races on the front end," said trainer Mel Stute. "But this (3 1/2 lengths) is the furthest he has ever won by. I don't know if it's because of this track or because the class is a little different."
Jockey Adalberto Lopez was also excited about the win.
"I was looking to ride this horse for some time," he said. "Mel (Stute) told me that the horse had some early speed and just to get him to relax. At the 3/8-pole, my horse just took off."
Double Quick won $30,700 while increasing his lifetime earnings to $508,883.
Double Quick provided Stute with his record-leading 33rd Fairplex Park stakes victory and his 101th lifetime in Pomona.
Former thoroughbred sprint star Hilco Scamper collapsed and died of a ruptured heart after the third race Saturday. Competing against quarter horses in the $14,050 Call Caleb Stakes at 870 yards, Hilco Scamper finished second before collapsing on the clubhouse turn. In 1987, he won the National Sprint Championship at Hollywood Park.
One patron correctly won Saturday's Pick-Six payoff of $83,180. Jockeys Martin Pedroza and Paul Atchison each won two races. A show-bet plunger lost $10,000 here when Criminal Type finished sixth in the $500,000 Woodward Stakes that was simulcast from Belmont Park.
Sassy Slew, coming off a sharp runnerup effort at Del Mar, is the likely favorite today in the $54,100 E.B. Johnston Stakes. For the second straight day, on-track attendance showed an increase over 1989 figures. Saturday's crowd of 15,520 was 90 more than the 1989 count. The total mutuel handle of $4,031,019 surpassed the $3,997.987 bet one year ago.