08/02/2008 12:00AM

Pass the Heat sizzles in Grace


SANTA ROSA, Calif. - Pass the Heat ($5.80) returned to his favorite surface, winning the $63,450 Joseph T. Grace Handicap on the turf Saturday at the Sonoma County Fair.

Second choice in the field of six, Pass the Heat was last down the backstretch of the 1 1/16-mile race before moving up on the second turn. Our Partner wore down tiring pacesetter Yacht Spotter to take the lead turning for home, but Pass the Heat, rallying three wide, quickly went by him, winning by two lengths in 1:41.30. Cover Magic, the longest shot on the board, got up for third another length back.

Pass the Heat, now 5 for 8 on the turf, scored his first victory since an $80,000 optional claiming turf win on April 20 at Bay Meadows. He was third in the Grade 3 Berkeley Handicap and had most recently finished fifth in the Alamedan at Pleasanton on July 6. Jockey Frank Alvarado was aboard in the Grace.

“Frank worked the horse and liked the horse,” winning trainer Bill Morey Jr. said. “He really made a strong move on the turn.”

Pass the Heat, a Joseph P. Morey Jr. homebred by Unusual Heat, earned $41,000, lifting his career earnings to $225,979 with his seventh victory in 15 career starts.