03/01/2008 1:00AM

All's well that ends well for Sir Whimsey


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Trainer James Toner wasn't happy with the weight assignments for Saturday's $350,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap. But he was delighted with the results of the Grade 2 race after his 117-pound highweight Sir Whimsey outlasted 6-5 favorite Fairbanks by a half-length to register the first stakes victory of his career.

Toner was surprised Sir Whimsey was conceding his four rivals two pounds apiece in the 1 3/16-mile Gulfstream Park Handicap since his horse had never won a stakes and Fairbanks and Kiss the Kid were both Grade 1-stakes-placed. He was also surprised the pace of the race was so slow with Kiss the Kid setting fractions of 24.91 seconds, 50.50, and 1:14.46 while pressed on the lead by Leonnatus Anteas.

The field was bunched in the run down the backstretch with jockey Edgar Prado keeping Sir Whimsey wide and just off the early leaders for the opening six furlongs of the race.

Sir Whimsey made a quick move while remaining wide to gain the lead entering the stretch before easing back down to the inside to outlast Fairbanks.

"What can I say about the weights now?" Toner said with a smile.

"I expected to see the pace go in about 47 not 50, so I was concerned when they were going so slow down the backstretch. Edgar made a great move to take the lead when he did and then to keep Fairbanks stuck in there along the rail."

Fairbanks was rated off the early leaders and raced a bit rankly while stuck behind Kiss the Kid till the stretch. He eventually found room along the rail to launch his final bid but could not make up any appreciable ground on the winner through the final three-sixteenths, finishing 1 1/2 lengths in front of Kiss the Kid to be second.

Leonnatus Anteas and the slow-breaking Wood Be Willing rounded out the order of finish.

Sir Whimsey, who is owned by the Turtle Bird Stable, covered the distance in 1:56.96 and paid $7.