10/21/2006 12:00AM

Hudson: Gold and Roses beats Sharp Humor

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ELMONT, N.Y. - Gold and Roses may not be the most recognizable New York-bred sprinter in training, but he's certainly the most consistent.

Under Garrett Gomez, Gold and Roses outfinished graded-stakes winner Sharp Humor to win the $125,000 by a neck on New York Showcase Day at Belmont Park. Sharp Humor, who dueled with Introspect, finished second by three-quarters of a length over Papua.

It was the fourth victory from 10 starts this year for Gold and Roses, a 4-year-old gelded son of Gold Token owned by Henry Gregory and trained by Tom Bush.

Sharp Humor, making his first start since finishing 19th in the Kentucky Derby, dueled with Introspect through fractions of 22.48 seconds and 45.31 while Scary Bob was just off that duo's flank. Gomez had Gold and Roses in fourth position down the backside and advanced him four wide on the turn.

As Sharp Humor worked to put away Introspect in deep stretch, Gold and Roses rallied home late to get up. Gold and Roses ran the six furlongs 1:09.37 and returned $5.30 to win.

"I didn't know what to tell [Gomez]; I left it up to him," Bush said. "If it really gets ugly up there, don't be afraid to take him back if you feel like it. He broke a little flat-footed. I think that helped him make up his mind."

Gomez said he wasn't necessarily planning on taking Gold and Roses back, but by the time the gelding got his feet underneath him the speed horses had run away from him.

"When he was ready to hit his gears I just had to find him a clear spot," Gomez said.

Sharp Humor, who won the Grade 2 Swale at Gulfstream and came within a half-length of Barbaro in the Florida Derby, ran well in his first start since having knee surgery following the Kentucky Derby.

"You never want to lose, but I'm really happy with his effort," trainer Dale Romans said. "He looked good, he did everything he could do but win. It was a good comeback race."