09/23/2003 12:00AM

Anthony Eats ready for route


POMONA, Calif. - Anthony Eats has been begging for a route of ground, and the 2-year-old will get it Thursday at Fairplex Park as one of 11 entrants for the $50,000 Gateway to Glory Stakes at 1 1/16 miles.

The race might have been a slam dunk for Best Pal runner-up Capitano, but when trainer Ray Bell elected to skip the Fairplex race and wait for the Grade 2 Norfolk, the floodgates opened. The Gateway to Glory attracted a full field, and many of the entrants are returning off maiden wins.

Anthony Eats is the one to beat. Anthony Eats, who is trained by John Sadler, has won one of five starts and finished second in the Beau Brummel Stakes. He's a son of Order and acts like a horse that will appreciate the distance.

Royal Photographer already has won at the distance, on this track, and is the logical come-from-behind threat under rider Fernando Valenzuela.

Excess Summer works for derby

The $100,000 Pomona Derby will not be run until Saturday, but a Tuesday morning workout by Excess Summer may have whittled the size of the field. Julie Krone worked Excess Summer over the five-eighth-mile track and said: "He loves the turns. I could have ridden him with a rope on his neck. It was good for me, too, to get around the track."

Krone has never ridden at Fairplex, but won two stakes races on Excess Summer this summer at Del Mar, and does not expect any difficulty this weekend. "If he was a some come-from-behind horse it would make things a little interesting," Krone said. "If he shows his typical speed, it won't be that big of a challenge for me."

Excess Summer will start as the odds-on favorite in the derby, which is expected to attract a small field.

Amber Hills leads throughout

The $48,000 CBA Marian Stakes on Monday at Fairplex was supposed to be loaded with speed, but Amber Hills, the 6-5 favorite ridden by Martin Pedroza, took the lead after a half-mile of the 1 1/16-mile race and was long gone. Amber Hills won by 1 3/4 lengths over The Borg Queen, who raced at least three wide from start to finish in the stakes race for 3-year-old California-bred fillies.

Amber Hills is trained by Ed Moger, who said Amber Hills was likely to return to grass next. The win was the second Fairplex stakes win for Amber Hills, who has won 5 of 15 starts and earned $230,230.

* So much for a carryover in the win pick nine into the last day of the meet. The $1 bet, which typically carries over throughout the 17-day meet until mandatory payout on closing day, was hit Monday by two tickets. A series of low-odds winners enabled two tickets to cash the bet for $45,404. The highest-priced winner in the pick nine sequence was $11.80.