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FAIRPLEX

Awesome Daze, Native Desert Win

September 15, 1997

Awesome Daze and Native Desert scored come-from-behind victories at Fairplex Park on Sunday, winning the $50,000 Phil D. Shepherd Stakes and the $50,000 Aprisa Handicap, respectively.

Awesome Daze, claimed for $50,000 four races back by trainer Darrell Vienna for television producer David Milch, rallied from fourth after a half-mile to win by four lengths under jockey Victor Espinoza.

Native Desert rallied from sixth in the field of seven to win the Aprisa by a length over pace-setting 5-2 favorite Weekend Playboy, who had a neck on Makinanhonestbuck in a three-horse race to the wire.

It was the eighth victory in 28 starts for Awesome Daze, an 8-1 outsider who earned $27,500 and covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42 1/5 under 115 pounds.

Screaming Don closed well to be second, a length in front of the late-running Ready to Order, who won the 1996 Pomona Derby.

It was the fifth victory in 17 starts for Native Desert, a 4-year-old California-bred son of Desert Classic. The victory was worth $27,500 to owner Miguel Rubio. Native Desert carried 114 pounds over six furlongs in 1:09 2/5, only one-fifth of a second off the track record set in 1989 by Drouilly's Boy.

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