10/27/2008 12:00AM

Gilker makes it a sweep in Ascot


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Trainer Rob Gilker capped off a big weekend with a win by Tommy Danzigger in the $107,674 Ascot Graduation for 2-year-old colts and geldings at Hastings on Sunday.

Gilker also won the $108,134 Fantasy Stakes for 2-year-old fillies on Saturday with Fashionable Affair. The 1 1/16-mile Ascot and Fantasy are the only middle-distance stakes races for 2-year-olds at Hastings.

Tommy Danzigger, $22.10, broke awkwardly with David Wilson aboard, but he quickly recovered and stalked the pace while racing three wide. Wilson had to work hard to get Tommy Danzigger settled going into the first turn, but he relaxed nicely for Wilson the rest of the way. Tommy Danzigger made a strong late move while going four wide and he caught Gotta Find Bubba in the late stretch. The final margin was three-quarters of a length and the time was 1:46.41.

"He was scrambling around when he broke out of the gate and he was pretty sharp going into the first turn," said Wilson. "Once he settled in behind horses I felt like I had a lot of horse. When I asked him to go he really responded."

Gotta Find Bubba tracked El Sinaloense, who set the pace for the first six furlongs. He took over the lead just past the quarter pole and held a 1 1/2-length advantage over Tommy Danzigger at the top of the stretch. Gotta Find Bubba couldn’t hold off Tommy Danzigger but he held on well to finish second, four lengths clear of his stablemate Millwright. Both horses are trained by Steve Henson.

El Sinaloense, who was the favorite, tired to finish last in the eight horse field.

Tommy Danzigger earned $64,898 for his owner, Edgar B. Smith.