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FAIRPLEX : Southern Wish Sews Up Victory in the Pomona


Richard J. Stephen, a clothing manufacturer from Manhattan Beach, is a hands-on owner who likes to make his own decisions.

But he acknowledged that trainer Wally Dollase had to persuade him to claim Southern Wish for $75,000 last February.

"He told me this horse could become a stakes winner," Stephen said. "I said, 'But he isn't one now.' "

He is now.

The 5-year-old son of Lyphard's Wish ran on or near the lead the entire way and held off Seahawk Gold, ridden by G.F. Almeida, to win the $150,000 Pomona Handicap by one length at Fairplex Park on Sunday. Nancys French Fry and Fernando Valenzuela finished third in the 1 1/8-mile race.

Southern Wish stalked pace-setter Lyphard Legend for the first half-mile, which was run in 47 3/5.

"With those kind of fractions down the backstretch, I knew they had to come catch me," said Corey Nakatani, who had the winning ride.

Southern Wish took the lead on the far turn, and although Seahawk Gold and Nancys French Fry were also rolling late, neither threatened to catch the winner.


David Flores, who has clinched his sixth consecutive riding championship at Fairplex Park, was thrown from his mount, Kata Did, after the ninth race and took the rest of the day off.

The 5-year-old mare bobbled while taking a bad step during her cool-down, then galloped off after Flores was thrown.

Flores got up under his own power and, although he received no treatment, he said his right hip was bothering him. He added that he hoped to ride today, the final day of the meeting.

Flores, who had a winning ride aboard Something Nice in the seventh for his 42nd victory of the 19-day meeting, leads Fernando Valenzuela by 13 winners going into the final day.

Horse Racing Notes

The Pomona Invitational Handicap will be known as the Ralph M. Hinds Invitational Handicap beginning next year. Hinds, who died on July 30, was the top executive at Fairplex Park, beginning in 1978. . . . Martin Pedroza rode Count Double to victory in the $15,000 Silver and Gold Invitational Handicap and when asked if he would go to the Fresno Fair to ride the Appaloosa, he quipped, "I'm going to ride him in the Breeders' Cup." . . . Streakin Dunes, a 10-1 shot, beat second favorite Stellar Trux by a head to win the Pomona 870 Handicap for quarter horses. Favored Better Than Never finished fifth. . . . Trainer Wayne Lukas will send Southern Tempo, a winner in his last start at Del Mar on Sept. 4, against five other horses in the Fairplex Breeders' Cup, the closing day feature this afternoon. The field in order: Luv To Fly, John Atherton, 115; Southern Tempo, David Flores, 120; Slew Quest, G.F. Almeida, 120; Prenuptial Jitters, Pedroza, 120; Luxury Box, Fernando Valenzuela, 120; Sea A Go, Victor Miranda, 120.

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