09/01/2006 11:00PM

Pomeroy wins Forego as favorite fails


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Pomeroy took advantage of a poor start by even-money favorite Commentator on Saturday and ran away to a 2 1/4-length victory over a star-studded field in the Grade 1 at Saratoga.

Starting from post 2, Commentator, trained by Nick Zito, lost all chance when he stumbled coming out of the gate and finished 10th in the field of 11.

Pomeroy pressed the early pace set by Spanish Chestnut, moved to the front in the turn, and completed the seven furlongs in 1:23.39 over a fast track. War Front, trained by Allen Jerkens, was second, a neck in front of Friendly Island, at 36-1 the second-longest shot in the field.

Pomeroy's jockey, John Velazquez, was aware that the front-running Commentator does not always break well from the gate. He gained the tactical advantage when Commentator failed to get away sharply, which forced Commentator and jockey Eibar Coa to sit along the rail behind the dueling leaders.

"I was hoping that Spanish Chestnut would be fast enough to clear him and put him in there," Velazquez said. "He didn't break well. Spanish Chestnut got his position, and I laid just next to that one, and we sat there and waited.

Spanish Chestnut covered the first quarter-mile in 22.74 seconds. Pomeroy, who paid $14.20, reached the half-mile point a head in front of Spanish Chestnut in 45.65 seconds and covered six furlongs in 1:10.37. As they entered the stretch and Commentator's run into contention fizzled, Pomeroy extended his advantage.

Coa said he anticipated trouble as he waited for the race to begin.

"He was not 100 percent in the gate," Coa said. "I was trying to get him right, but I couldn't get much help. He just left the gate and he stumbled after the first jump. I believe that cost him the whole thing."

It was the third consecutive year that Pomeroy, now owned by David Hutson's Silverleaf Farm, won a graded stakes at Saratoga. In 2004, while being trained by Patrick Biancone, he won the Grade 1 King's Bishop. Last summer, he returned to capture the A.G. Vanderbilt for Biancone. Hutson purchased Pomeroy following the 2005 Breeders' Cup. He was turned over to trainer Martin Wolfson after recovering from surgery to remove an ankle chip. In his only other start this season, he was second in the Grade 2 Smile at Calder.