09/16/2008 12:00AM

Not so easy for Superfecta


POMONA, Calif. - At first glance, Superfecta's win in the fourth race at Fairplex Park on Sept. 6 looks remarkable, a romp by 9 3/4 lengths in a $25,000 claimer at six furlongs.

But there is more to it than meets the eye. Superfecta won a race marred by a two-horse spill at the top of the stretch. Superfecta was essentially left alone at the top of the stretch after the incident.

The overwhelming victory makes Superfecta a leading contender in an optional claimer for 3-year-olds at 6 1/2 furlongs at Fairplex Park on Thursday, but the race is more difficult than the one he recently won. Superfecta is part of a nine-horse field that includes Afleet's Design and Tommys Luck, who are seeking their third consecutive wins.

Superfecta has drawn post 6 and is the only member of the field entered to be claimed for $40,000. A 3-year-old gelding trained by Ted H. West for Sierra Nevada Stables, Superfecta was claimed for $25,000 at Del Mar on July 31, out of a race in which he finished second.

Jockey Clinton Potts rode Superfecta on Sept. 6, and retains the mount on Thursday. Potts said the spill did not affect the outcome, but did leave a winning margin that flattered Superfecta.

"I had a lot of horse," Potts said. "I wouldn't take anything away from him."

Both Afleet's Design and Tommys Luck have claiming races in their backgrounds, but are not entered for a price in Thursday's race. Afleet's Design, trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, won a $25,000 maiden race for claimers at Del Mar on Aug. 2 and returned on Aug. 21 to win a $25,000 claimer. Both races were at six furlongs. Joel Rosario, who had an outstanding Del Mar meeting, rides Afleet's Design for the first time.

Afleet's Design will be part of the pace, along with Richer Gear.

Tommys Luck has drawn the outside post. Trained by Jeff Mullins, Tommys Luck won a $25,000 claiming race for maidens on Aug. 10, the day he was claimed by Mullins and owner Bob Bone. On Aug. 24, Tommys Luck won a starter allowance at six furlongs, rallying from fifth to win by 1 1/2 lengths. The style of that win will make him the favorite in Thursday's race.

Mullins was tight-lipped when he was asked about Tommys Luck's chances between races earlier this week.

"He's a good horse, that's it," said Mullins. "He'll be all right."