01/01/2011 8:45PM

Gomez completes stakes sweep aboard Dilemma in Daytona

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BENOIT PHOTO
Garett Gomez guides Dilemma to an upset victory in the Grade 3 Daytona, giving the jockey a sweep of both stakes on the New Year's Day card.

 

ARCADIA, Calif. - On New Year’s Day at Santa Anita, jockey Garrett Gomez decided his 39th birthday was the gift that kept on giving. A couple of hours after scoring an upset in the Grade 2 Robert Frankel Stakes with Spring Style, Gomez captured the Grade 3, $100,000 Daytona Stakes with Dilemma, who stormed down the center of the track to post an 8-1 surprise in the turf sprint.

“It’s a nice way to start the year,” said Gomez, who also won a stakes race on Friday, giving him three in the past two cards. “We’ll try to chase another money title this year.”

Gomez fell short in that quest in 2010, but has won it more often than not in recent years in concert with his agent, Ron Anderson.

In the Daytona, Dilemma ($19.60) closed from fifth to first in the seven-horse field in the final furlong to win by 1 1/4 lengths over Quick Enough, who was a half-length better than third-place Regally Ready, the 2-1 favorite.

Tom Proctor trains Dilemma, 7, for Leonard Lavin’s Glen Hill Farm. Proctor took over as his trainer this fall. Dilemma has won once in three starts for Proctor. He was 5 for 19 with his previous trainer, Paddy Gallagher. The Daytona was Dilemma’s first start on the downhill turf course. His only previous stakes win came at the Oak Tree meeting in 2006. That was so long ago that it was on Santa Anita’s previous dirt course, which was replaced for three years by a synthetic surface

“I thought he might like the distance. I was worried about him coming down the hill,” Proctor said.