02/28/2010 12:00AM

Compari leads whole way in Crystal Water


ARCADIA, Calif. - Compari is ready to move beyond the statebred division. His win in Sunday's proved to trainer Marty Jones that the 4-year-old gelding needs more competition.

"I don't know if I've had that many that try as hard," Jones said.

Ridden by Garrett Gomez, Compari ($4.60) led throughout the Crystal Water, extending a one-length lead through the first half-mile to 2 1/2 lengths in the stretch and 3 1/4 lengths at the finish. Sent off favored, Compari ran a mile on turf in 1:35. The turf course was rated good after about three inches of rain fell on Friday and Saturday.

Compari set fractions of 23.67 and 47.73 seconds through the first half-mile.

"Once [Compari] established the lead, they kind of backed off," Jones said. "He's got a tremendous will, this horse. Garrett rode a great race."

Enriched, a half-brother to the seven-time Grade 1 winner Lava Man, finished second, rallying from fifth with a wide move on the turn. Swift Winds finished third in the field of seven.

Compari has won five consecutive races, beginning with a maiden race against statebreds last March. The streak includes the $250,000 Snow Chief Stakes for 3-year-old statebreds on the main track at Hollywood Park last April and the Sensational Star Handicap on the hillside turf course here in January.

Last year, Compari was plagued by foot problems that kept him sidelined from April to December. Owned by the partnership of breeders John Harris, John Nicoletti, and Don Valpredo, Compari has won 5 of 6 starts and $332,640.

Jones mentioned the $150,000 Arcadia Handicap at 1 1/8 miles on turf on April 3 as Compari's next possible start.