10/26/2007 11:00PM

Cobalt Blue rallies in Select Stakes

EmailOCEANPORT, N.J. - Cobalt Blue charged from far back to snatch victory from his California rival, E Z Warrior, in capturing the $200,000 Select Stakes on the Breeders' Cup undercard Saturday at Monmouth Park.

With Garrett Gomez riding for trainer Doug O'Neill, Cobalt Blue returned $26 after finishing six furlongs in 1:10.54 over a sloppy track. He was the third-longest shot in a field of nine 3-year-olds.

E Z Warrior, ridden by Victor Espinoza, dueled outside of Unbridled Trust for most of the way before edging away in midstretch. At the sixteenth pole, E Z Warrior was still clear, but the torrid run of Cobalt Blue nailed him, with the final margin being a half-length. Appealing Spring rallied late to finish third, another two lengths behind E Z Warrior.

Cobalt Blue is owned by the estate of the late Merv Griffin. Earlier in the year, when Griffin was still alive, the colt was considered a Kentucky Derby prospect before he faltered in the Illinois Derby, and he had not won since the San Felipe in March.

"I'm a little emotional about winning this for Merv," O'Neill said.

Gomez also won the previous race, the $200,000 Miss Woodford, aboard Coco Belle, and the following race, the BC Juvenile Fillies, on Indian Blessing.