On a sweltering, smoggy day in Pomona, racing fans had trouble mustering much enthusiasm on the first day of the Los Angeles County Fair meet at Fairplex Park.
But jockey Paul Toscano had plenty of zip Thursday aboard Imallzealedup.
Caught in traffic down the stretch, Toscano moved outside and rallied the 2-year-old filly to victory in the 6 1/2-furlong $50,000 Bustles and Bows Stakes, the first feature race of the 19-day meet.
Imallzealedup caught David Flores aboard Thespian inside the sixteenth pole and held on to win by a length. Thespian finished second and Wouldyoubelieveit third.
"I thought the rail was going to stay open, but this horse just made the front perfect," Toscano said. "So it didn't work out too bad, because I just kind of swung around, but I definitely lost a couple of lengths by doing that."
Imallzealedup went off at 13-1, but trainer Mike Machowsky said he wasn't surprised by the filly's performance, even though she was 0-2 at Del Mar.
"I thought she was this good," he said. "At Del Mar, I thought she'd run run better than she did. I don't know if she cared for the [Del Mar] track."
She was obviously well prepared for the 105-degree temperature at Pomona.
"We bathed her down pretty good before bringing her here," Machowsky said.
In Thursday's co-feature, the 6 1/2-furlong $50,000 Foothill Stakes for 3-year-olds, Matt Garcia aboard the betting favorite Score Quick took the lead down the stretch and beat Alletasso by a head.
"I had a feeling [Toscano on Alletasso] was somewhere, and I kept watching for him," Garcia said. "When I saw his shadow coming, I still rode with confidence."
Score Quick, trained by Mel Stute, went off at 6-5 and paid $4.60, $4 and $2.20.
Asked what it was like making the transition from the coastal sea breezes at Del Mar to the blistering inland heat at Pomona, Flores replied, "It's like being in paradise and then going to hell."
Flores, however, deals with the heat better than most. The Tijuana native has won the Fairplex jockey title an unprecedented six consecutive seasons.
He had two victories Thursday and needs 19 more to reach 248, which would tie him with all-time leader Francisco Mena.
Horse Racing Notes
Longshot players with the correct hunches wasted no time hitting the jackpot. In the first thoroughbred race of the Fairplex meet--the fourth on the card--Payoff, a 48-1 shot, lived up to its name, winning by nearly a length, paying $98.60 for a $2 bet. Finishing second was Bye Bye Saga at 28-1. A $2 exacta was worth a Fairplex-record $2,132.60. The trifecta, 2-9-7, was worth a record $23,979.40. There were $6 worth of tickets sold for the trifecta. . . . David Flores will be aboard the probable favorites in today's twin features, Zipped The Message in the Beau Brummel Stakes and Contentment in the Las Ninas Stakes.