08/26/2007 12:00AM

After Market keeps on rolling


DEL MAR, Calif. -- After Market, making his first start since a wet course prompted his removal from the Arlington Million two weeks earlier, kept his winning streak intact and stayed on course for a berth in the Breeders’ Cup with a victory as the heavy favorite on Sunday in the Grade 2, $250,000 Del Mar Handicap on turf.

After Market ($2.80), racing 1 3/8 miles for the first time, surged to the lead coming into the stretch and safely held off a group of rivals who were clumped behind him. He prevailed by three-quarters of a length, with Runaway Dancer nosing out Spring House for second.

Alex Solis rode After Market, 4, who was timed in 2:13.01 on the firm ground he prefers. John Shirreffs trains After Market for Marty and Pam Wygod, who bred and own the Storm Cat colt.

“I thought it was a great race,” Shirreffs said. “He was in a box twice, had some traffic problems, but Alex did a superior job. This horse is amazing.”

After Market has now won four straight races, including the Whittingham and Eddie Read handicaps, both Grade 1 races. On Sunday, he carried 124 pounds and spotted 6 to 9 pounds to his six rivals.

“Like a lot of colts, when he gets to the lead he gets a little lazy,” Shirreffs said. “I could see Alex was riding with a lot of confidence, and when you see that it gives someone who’s watching the race a lot of confidence.”

Shirreffs said After Market would have one more start before the Oct. 27 Breeders’ Cup at Monmouth Park. He said he would confer with Marty Wygod regarding which Breeders’ Cup race to point for, the Turf or the Mile, but said, “If he has to run a mile and a half, it’s no problem.”