01/27/2007 12:00AM

Probation Ready wins Black Gold at 4-5

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Probation Ready came from off the pace to win the $75,000 Black Gold Stakes under a patient ride from Robby Albarado.

The race was originally carded for 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf but was switched to the main track, which was sloppy after heavy rain.

Albarado allowed the 4-5 favorite to settle early as Tainted Money sprinted clear of the field in a 22.47 quarter.

"I figured he'd have some pace in the race, and he did," said Albarado.

After a half-mile in 46.60, Pete the Poet engaged Tainted Money for the lead, but Albarado had Probation Ready rolling and he surged to the lead to win by 1 3/4 lengths, getting the 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:05.86.

"He came home nice," said Albarado.

Pete the Poet finished 4 3/4 lengths clear of Tainted Money, who was 1o1/2 lengths ahead of Fast N Ready.

Albarado didn't think the surface switch made any difference.

"I didn't mind that it came off the grass," he said. "He's a really nice colt. He finished second last time to a very nice colt in Teuflesberg."

Probation Ready paid $3.80 to win.