08/04/2011 5:34PM

Del Mar: Ruler of Dubai's upset gives trainer first stakes win

Benoit & Associates
Ruler of Dubai, with Garrett Gomez riding, wins the Graduation.

DEL MAR, Calif. - Six days after he finished fourth in a starter allowance, Ruler of Dubai made his stakes debut in Wednesday’s $100,000 Graduation Stakes and pulled an upset in the sprint for statebred 2-year-olds.

Trainer George Papaprodromou said that Ruler of Dubai lost any chance of a good performance in the starter allowance on July 27 after sweating significantly before the race. There was no such incident in the Graduation, which Ruler of Dubai ($31.80) won by a head over the 10-1 first-time starter Three Vases.

A gelding by Tribal Rule owned by Harout Keshishian of Arcadia, Calif., Ruler of Dubai ran 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:04.48. Sherman Bartlebort, the even-money favorite, finished sixth, losing for the first time in his fourth start.

The win gave Papaprodromou, 35, his first stakes winner.

“When I shipped him here before, he was so nervous that he washed out before the race,” Papaprodromou said of the starter allowance. “I figured I’d run him right back.”

Wednesday’s win has led Papaprodromou to plan a start for Ruler of Dubai in the $100,000 I’m Smokin Stakes for statebreds over six furlongs on Sept. 5.