11/25/2006 1:00AM

Ashkal Way overcomes post in Citation


INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Ashkal Way won his first Grade 1 race in Friday’s $400,000 Citation Handicap at Hollywood Park, overcoming an outside post to score a one-length win over 25-1 Hendrix.

Three Valleys finished third in the field of 10, with 9-5 favorite Rob Roy a non-threatening fifth.

Breaking from post 11, Ashkal Way ($9.80) ran 1 1/16 miles on turf in a quick 1:39.67. Ridden by Garrett Gomez, Ashkal Way was seventh for the first six furlongs, racing well behind the quick pace of 23.48 and 46.52 shared by Sweet Return and Silent Name.

Gomez brought Ashkal Way wide on the final turn and quickly got a response, taking the lead in midstretch. The ride impressed assistant trainer Rick Mettee, who previously operated a stable on this circuit before joining the staff of the Maktoum family’s Godolphin Racing, which owns Ashkal Way. “I couldn’t believe he pulled that trip from that post position,” Mettee said of Gomez.

Hendrix, who was last of 12 after six furlongs, finished a nose in front of Three Valleys, who reached a prominent position in early stretch but could not sustain the rally.

The victory was Ashkal Way’s third consecutive win in a graded stakes and sixth win in seven starts since arriving from Dubai in the spring. Trained by Saeed Bin Suroor, Ashkal Way won the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch Handicap at Saratoga and the Grade 2 Kelso Breeders’ Cup Handicap at Belmont Park on Sept. 30.

Said Suroor, “He’s improving all the time.”

Ashkal Way is scheduled to spend the winter in Florida with Mettee’s division of Godolphin.

Whatsthescript wins easily

Whatsthescript ($4.20) scored an easy win in the second division of the $75,000 Generous Stakes for 2-year-olds.

Ridden by Isaias Enriquez, Whatsthescript raced wide throughout the mile and was hand-ridden to the finish, winning by a half-length over Vauquelin. Whatsthescript finished a mile on turf in 1:36.04. The time would have been quicker if Enriquez had not stood up before the wire.

Sevengoldmissiles finished third in the field of eight. The race was marred by a fatal breakdown to Edwardian, who broke a right foreleg when racing near the front with three furlongs remaining.

Whatsthescript races for Tommy Town Thoroughbred and trainer Manuel Marques. The Irish-bred colt has won 3 of 5 starts and $103,041.

Gn. Group Meeting’s slump over

Gn. Group Meeting ($18.40) rallied from sixth to pull an upset in the $100,000 Cat’s Cradle Handicap for statebred fillies and mares.

Gn. Group Meeting ran 7 1/2 furlongs in 1:29.12, ending a five-race losing streak dating back to the CTBA Marian Stakes at Fairplex Park in September 2005.

Ridden by Garrett Gomez, Gn. Group Meeting was well off the pace of 22.38 and 44.67 seconds set by Shaggy Mane. Gn. Group Meeting reached a prominent position with a wide rally in the final quarter-mile.

Gn. Group Meeting won by a length over Getback Time, with Short Route finishing third in the field of eight. Cambiocorsa, the multiple stakes winner, was withdrawn in favor of a start in Sunday’s $500,000 Matriarch Stakes.

Gn. Group Meeting, 4, has four of 14 starts and $212,060 for owner-breeders Larry and Marianne Williams and trainer Clifford Sise.