06/22/2001 11:00PM

Calder: Gomez wins first stakes


MIAMI - A torrential downpour that struck the area shortly after the beginning of the program forced the $50,000 Office Queen Stakes from the turf to a sloppy main track at Calder. The change in surfaces played right into the hands of Multiplicity, who set all the pace before outgaming Wander Mom by a half-length, giving jockey Jocy Gomez her first career stakes victory.

Coming into the Office Queen, Multiplicity had never won in five career tries on turf but had captured her only two previous wet track races by a combined margin of more than 13 lengths. Using her inside post to good advantage, Gomez sent the 3-year-old Office Queen to the front and then angled a bit wide while still clear entering the stretch. Wander Mom, well placed and saving ground throughout, rallied near the rail and appeared to gain a slight advantage inside the eighth pole, only to have Multiplicity reassert herself to prove narrowly best under pressure.

Rich Peace rallied to be third, another 2 1/4 lengths behind Wander Mom.

As a result of her perfect record in the slop, Multiplicity was sent off favored in a scratch-reduced field of nine 3-year-old fillies and paid $6.20. Her final time for the 1 1/16 miles was 1:49.59.

"She'll run on any surface but she really loves the slop," said Bill Kaplan, who trains Multiplicity for Ione and Herb Elkins. "We were delighted when the rain came, and Jocy just let her run her race. She has speed and had the rail which didn't hurt."

"I finally got to ride a stakes horse," Gomez said. "She's a speed filly and likes to go to the front. I had the one post so I knew I had to go."