03/04/2006 12:00AM

Baldwin: Fast Parade upsets; Da Stoops third


The wet weather that came through Southern California on Friday forced the Grade 3, $110,500 from the hillside turf course to the main track, a scenario that seemingly benefited Da Stoops, who was sent off as the 2-5 favorite. But the slick track, and two upstarts, proved a hurdle too high for him to clear.

Da Stoops staggered home third - and just barely saved the bridge-jumpers who plunged in the show pool - behind the victorious Fast Parade and The Pharoah in the 6 1/2-furlong race for 3-year-olds.

Fast Parade ($15.40) had not raced since October, was making his first start on this circuit, and his first start for trainer Peter Miller. He was prominent from the start in a fast-paced race. Fast Parade, Ten Downing Street, Vibank, Within Reason, and Da Stoops were within a length of each other through an opening quarter in 21.03 seconds. Fast Parade, Da Stoops, and The Pharoah went on with it through a half-mile in 43.40 seconds, but then Da Stoops began to fade.

"He felt a little uncomfortable," said Victor Espinoza, who rode Da Stoops. "He was slipping, but he was trying so hard that at the end he got tired."

The Pharoah put his head in front of Fast Parade passing the furlong pole, but then Fast Parade, under Garrett Gomez, re-rallied and drew clear at the end to prevail by 2 1/4 lengths in 1:15.11 on the fast main track. The Pharoah finished 3 1/2 lengths in front of Da Stoops, who just did hold off Dark Nose by a neck for third.

There was a minus show pool of $15,961.56 because of the heavy action on Da Stoops.