09/06/2003 12:00AM

Fogelsonger wins with 1st mount

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You only get one chance to make a first impression, and Ryan Fogelsonger made the most of his on Saturday. In his first mount in Southern California, Fogelsonger rode the 6-1 shot Dream Weekend to a half-length victory in Del Mar's first race.

Fogelsonger, last year's Eclipse Award-winning apprentice while based in Maryland, was supposed to have his first mount on Friday, but his one scheduled runner was scratched. Dream Weekend was his only scheduled mount on Saturday. Fogelsonger already has impressed local horsemen, though, because he is expected to have as many as five mounts on Wednesday's closing-day card.

Fogelsonger received a nice ovation before the first race when singled out in the post parade by track commentator Trevor Denman.

"A lot of people were saying good luck, glad you're out here, things like that. In New York, it's usually, 'Go home, Fogelsonger,'" he said, laughing. "It felt good to be welcomed."

Fogelsonger rode a savvy race. Dream Weekend hugged the rail for the first six furlongs of the one-mile race, then came around the tiring leader Memo to Mike at the top of the stretch.

Fogelsonger's agent, Michelle Barsotti, was elated. "I don't think I've ever screamed that hard for a $16,000 claimer in my life," she said.