08/04/2011 7:22AM

Del Mar: Ruler of Dubai wins Graduation, gives trainer first stakes


DEL MAR, Calif. - Less than a week after finishing fourth in a starter allowance, Ruler of Dubai took a steep jump in class and pulled a 14-1 upset in Wednesday’s $100,000 Graduation Stakes for statebred 2-year-olds at Del Mar.

The win gave trainer George Papaprodromou, 35, the first stakes win of his career.

Ruler of Dubai ($31.80) ran 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:04.48, outfinishing the 10-1 first time starter Three Vases by a head. Rousing Sermon finished third in the field of nine.

Sherman Bartlebort, the even-money favorite, never reached the front as he had in past starts and finished sixth.

Ruler of Dubai won a $40,000 claiming race for maidens at Hollywood Park on June 9 in his second start. In a starter allowance here on July 27, he finished fourth in a field of six, but sweated significantly before the race, Papaprodromou said.

Wednesday’s race was the gelding’s first start against statebreds. Owned by Harout Keshishian, Ruler of Dubai has won 2 of 4 starts and $78,960. Papaprodromou said the $100,000 I’m Smokin Stakes on Sept. 5, also restricted to statebreds, is likely to be Ruler of Dubai’s next start.