02/14/2009 1:00AM

How's Your Halo upsets to the tune of $96.20


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - How's Your Halo, who was claimed for $40,000 by owner-trainer Brian Prichard at Gulfstream Park three years ago, wore down the pacesetting Ikigai to register a shocking half-length victory in Saturday's $150,000 Richter Scale Sprint. How's Your Halo paid $96.20.

Tale of Ekati, a two-time Grade 1 winner at 3, finished a nonthreatening fourth as the even-money favorite in his 2009 debut.

How's Your Halo had finished sixth, a dozen lengths behind Ikigai, when the pair met here last month in the Grade 3 Mr. Prospector. But Prichard, who had never won a race at Gulfstream before Saturday, said his horse had a little bleeding problem after the race, which he was able to straighten out in time for the Grade 2 Richter Scale.

How's Your Halo broke alertly from his outside post under jockey Juan Leyva and was reserved off the pace of Ikigai, who came away a step slow but quickly recovered to lead the way while headstrong down the backstretch. Ikigai briefly edged clear when set down by Jermaine Bridgmohan turning for home, but How's Your Halo never gave up, eventually wearing down the tiring leader in the final yards.

Bold Start, well placed from the outset, loomed three wide entering the stretch but could not sustain the bid and eventually finished another 2 1/4 lengths behind Ikigai. Tale of Ekati raced wide and was never a factor.

How's Your Halo, a 6-year-old son of Halo's Image, had won just once in nine starts last year but was second behind Benny the Bull in the Grade 2 Smile at Calder and stakes-placed on three other occasions in 2008.

How's Your Halo completed the seven furlongs in 1:23.16 over a fast track.

Hallandale Beach: Duke of Homberg a clear winner

Jockey Alan Garcia, who was forced to take off several mounts earlier in the day after being injured in Saturday's opening race, recovered in time to guide Duke of Homberg to a 1 1/4-length victory over Lime Rickey in the $125,000 Hallandale Beach Stakes.

Duke of Homberg, an English-bred son of Dynaformer, had been victimized by an unlucky trip in his 3-year-old debut last month, the Dania Beach Stakes. Garcia avoided any such trouble in the Hallandale Beach by guiding Duke of Homberg to the early lead, then remained patient after relinquishing command to Tamborim down the backstretch. Duke of Homberg regained the lead in early stretch then edged away to his second career victory and first since shipping to the United States last summer.

Lime Rickey rallied four wide after extricating himself from traffic to finish second, 1 1/2 lengths in front of the 5-2 favorite, Into My Soul.

Duke of Homberg, trained by Tom Albertrani for the Padua Stables, paid $8 after getting the 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.30 over a firm course.