01/01/2010 12:00AM

Gomez celebrates with two stakes wins


ARCADIA, Calif. -- Jockey Garrett Gomez celebrated his 38th birthday on New Year's Day on Friday at Santa Anita by sweeping the day's two stakes races.

The biggest win came in the in which he guided favored Compari ($4.60) to a gate-to-wire win by 1 3/4 lengths on the hillside turf course. Enriched was second and Live Sundays third.

Compari completed the about 6 1/2-furlong course in 1:12.42. The win was the fourth straight for Compari, who was bred and is owned by John Harris, John Nicoletti, and Don Valpredo.

Compari has now won races going short on turf, long on turf, and long on the main track.

"He's a really nice horse," said his trainer, Marty Jones. "He's really competitive. Long, short, turf, dirt."

Shadow of Illinois, seeking to become the first 10-year-old to win a stakes race at Santa Anita, finished last in the six-horse field. The Sensational Star is for California-bred older sprinters.

Earlier in the day, Gomez utilized late-running tactics with In the Slips in the $70,950 Blue Norther Stakes for 3-year-old fillies. In the Slips ($2.80) just got up in the final strides to beat Jet Blue Girl by a head, with Forbidden Paradise third.

In the Slips was timed in 1:36.84 for one mile on firm turf. She has won three times in seven starts and is 1 for 2 since being repatriated from Great Britain. Jeff Mullins trains In the Slips for owner Michael House.

How was Gomez planning on celebrating?

"Go home, go to bed, come back and do the same thing tomorrow," he said.