01/01/2005 1:00AM

Jake Skate romps in Lafayette Handicap


ALBANY, Calif. - Jake Skate ($7.60) got a confident ride and handled a sloppy track with ease as he earned his initial stakes victory in the $78,150 Lafayette Handicap at Golden Gate Fields on Saturday.

Jake Skate broke alertly and bounded to the lead. He was headed briefly by Motel Staff at the half-mile pole before assuming command on the turn and pulling away in the stretch to defeat even-money favorite Adreamisborn by three lengths while covering one mile in 1:35.73.

The victory was the third straight stakes win for trainer Doug O'Neill at Golden Gate Fields. He earlier captured the Gold Rush Stakes with Dover Dere and the Corte Madera with Cee's Irish.

Jake Skate set moderate fractions prompting Russell Baze, who rode the runner-up Adreamisborn to say, "He had it way too easy. When they go the first three-quarters with their ears pricked, they usually have a lot left."

Iggy Puglisi, who rode Jake Skate, said, "It didn't take a whole lot of strategic moves from me to win. He enjoyed the track. He never took a bad step. He just glided over it.

"I let (Motel Staff) get his head in front near the half, but my horse was running easy. The first time I chirped to him at the three-eighths he really accelerated. I tried to wait a bit till the quarter pole, and when I asked, he had another gear."

Jake Skate earned $46,275 with his fourth win in 18 starts. His career earnings are $205,055.