Updated on 09/18/2011 2:41AM

Late-bloomer Boboman wins Turf Cup

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Ending years of frustration, Boboman pulled an upset in Saturday’s $250,000 , a race that marked the rare occasion of an older horse winning his stakes debut in a Grade 1.

Boboman ($20.40) rallied from fifth to win the Turf Cup by a length over 25-1 Runaway Dancer, finishing 1 1/2 miles on turf in 2:24.61. Owned by Alain and Gerard Wertheimer, Boboman benefited from a perfect trip.

Jockey Garrett Gomez kept Boboman well off the early pace of 24.25 and 47.37 seconds set by Symphony Sid, who used those tactics to win the Grade 3 Carleton Burke Handicap at Santa Anita in October.

After a mile, Boboman was still fifth, but began moving closer. With a four-wide rally, he reached contention in early stretch and took the lead while racing well off the rail. Runaway Dancer closed from sixth to finish second, 2 1/2 lengths clear of Artiste Royale and Meteor Storm, who finished in a dead heat for third in the field of eight.

T.H. Approval, the winner of three Grade 2 stakes earlier this year, finished seventh and was vanned off. The stewards reported that T.H. Approval "was off in his right front."

Boboman, 5, has won four of 10 starts and $239,358 in a career that began in the summer of 2003. The Turf Cup was his third consecutive win, a streak that included an allowance race and an optional claimer this fall.

"The horse has had bad luck," trainer Richard Mandella said. "He’s had all kind of little problems. We’ve been waiting a long time to try this."