01/01/2012 7:51PM

Santa Anita: Bauble Queen rallies late to win Robert Frankel Stakes

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Benoit & Associates
Bauble Queen, with Garrett Gomez up, runs down Turning Top to win the Robert Frankel Stakes at Santa Anita.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Jockey Garrett Gomez turned 40 on Sunday. He didn’t ride like an old guy.

Gomez celebrated in ideal fashion, sweeping the two stakes at Santa Anita. Gomez won the minor Kalookan Queen Handicap with Rumor and guided Bauble Queen to a dramatic victory in the $150,000 Robert Frankel Stakes for turf females.

Bauble Queen ($8.80) closed from fifth in the field of six to win the Grade 2 Frankel Stakes by a half-length over pacesetter Turning Top.

“I don’t know what you’re supposed to feel like when you’re 40,” Gomez said. “It’s a good way to start the year. It’s a bonus.”

There seemed to be no doubt about the result in early stretch. Turning Top led by three lengths with a furlong remaining and looked to be clear of her rivals. But Gomez brought Bauble Queen wide and closed 5 1/2 lengths in the final furlong to reach the front in time. Bauble Queen ran 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:48.22.

“It was a matter of whether she’d length and whether the filly in front would back up at all,” Gomez said of the stretch run.

Miss Mittagong finished third, followed by 9-5 favorite City to City, Whisper Louise, and Celestial Kitten.

The Grade 2 Frankel was Bauble Queen’s first stakes win. A 4-year-old filly by Arch, Bauble Queen is owned by Class Racing Stable and trained by Eric Kruljac. She was second or third in three consecutive stakes at Del Mar, Santa Anita, and Hollywood Park from mid-August to early December.

Bauble Queen has won 3 of 8 starts and $218,257. Joe Masino of Class Racing Stable said Bauble Queen will stay on turf and race at distances of 1 1/8 miles or farther later this winter.