03/30/2007 11:00PM

O'Neill, Gomez score first World Cup wins in Mile


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - Spring At Last trained up to the $1 million Godolphin Mile like a horse ready for a top race, and then went out and delivered one in the night's first Thoroughbred contest at Nad Al Sheba. Caught wide while dueling for the early lead, Spring at Last made the lead partway through the long Nad Al Sheba stretch, and had plenty left to hold off Parole Board, winning by 2 3/4 lengths for trainer Doug O'Neill, who won his first race on the World Cup program.

The victory also was the first in a World Cup race for jockey Garrett Gomez, who had two seconds and a third in 2006. Gomez said the Mile didn't unfold as he'd planned, and that Spring at Last won despite his trip.

"I was afraid he was doing too much early," Gomez said. "I wanted to get him back some, but I couldn't. He was good enough to overcome it."

Spring At Last, who was timed in 1:36.16 and paid $9 in the U.S., won his first stakes, having been second in both the Malibu and the Strub at Santa Anita.