02/04/2007 1:00AM

Gomez sweeps Santa Anita stakes


ARCADIA, Calif. - Jockey Garrett Gomez completed a sweep of Santa Anita’s three graded stakes over the weekend with a come-from-behind win on Molengao in Sunday’s $250,000 San Antonio Handicap.

Gomez was named to ride the 6-year-old horse an hour before post time after scheduled jockey Victor Espinoza took off his final three mounts after being involved in a spill earlier in the day.

Gomez, who won four races on Sunday, brought Molengao from sixth to win the San Antonio by a head over pacesetter Ball Four. El Roblar finished third in the field of seven.

Gomez won Saturday’s Sham Stakes with Ravel and the Strub Stakes with Aron Squad. He is the leading rider at this meeting with 43 wins, 10 of which have come in stakes.

Molengao won his first stakes in the Grade 2 San Antonio, finishing 1 1-8 miles in 1:48.67. He was sixth early and made up ground in the final three furlongs to deny Ball Four in the final strides.

Trained by Paulo Lobo for TNT Stud, Molengao, a Brazilian-bred, has won 4 of 13 starts and $298,477. He will be strongly considered for the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap on March 3, Lobo said.