07/31/2004 11:00PM

Marwood wins Luther Burbank on DQ


SANTA ROSA, Calif. - Favored Marwood ($4.40) was moved up to first when stablemate Hippogator was disqualified for interference in the final 16th of the Luther Burbank Handicap at the Sonoma County Fair on Sunday.

Marwood had a troubled trip for the entire 1 1/16 miles of the race for fillies and mares. She was bumped badly by Icy Choice leaving the gate and was last into the first turn.

Hippogator opened an early lead when speedy Marty's Zee showed no interest in running early. She maintained the advantage into the lane but game out a bit, slightly bothering stablemate Gonetorule.

She straightened out and continued strongly as Marwood tried to make up ground from the rail. At the 16th pole, Hippogator moved in, forcing Marwood's jockey Ron Warren Jr. to steady. As Warren tried to move outside around Hippogator, Hippogator came out with Marwood almost clipping heels.

The two continued straight to the wire after that with Hippogator winning by three-quarters of a length in 1:44.21, but Warren lodged an objection, which was upheld by the stewards.

"She really overcame a lot of adversity today," Warren said.

"I thought I was going to win. I had plenty of room until he came over. The worst part was he came back out after I moved out. I hadn't hit her yet, and she really runs with the stick."

Chad Schvaneveldt, who rode Hippogator, said, "She ducked in, but he wouldn't have beaten me if we went around again. There wasn't room to get through to begin with."

The victory was Marwood's second straight in a stakes. She previously won the Alameda County Fillies and Mares Handicap.

The victory, worth $23,385, lifted Marwood's career earnings to $145,625 with five victories in nine starts.

Jerry Hollendorfer trained the first three finishers, Marwood, Hippogator and Gonetorule.