05/30/2010 11:00PM

Southern Fireball promoted to first


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Southern Fireball was placed first in Sunday's at Hollywood Park after race winner Repo was disqualified from first to second for causing interference in the stretch.

Repo led by a half-length with a furlong remaining, but drifted to the inside, forcing Martin Garcia on Southern Fireball to check his mount. Repo finished a half-length in front of Southern Fireball ($6.80), finishing six furlongs on turf in 1:10.72. After a brief inquiry, the stewards demoted Repo and placed Southern Fireball first.

Garcia said that Repo "came in and intimidated my filly really bad."

"After that I took her to the outside and she still ran second," he said. "She was definitely the best horse. If I would have gotten through, she would have won easily."

Joel Rosario, who rode Repo, thought he had left sufficient room on the inside. "I had her in tight, but I didn't interfere with her," he said.

Southern Fireball and Repo are trained by Doug O'Neill. Southern Fireball races for King Arthur Farms, George Bolton, Michael Lewis and Robert Masters and has won 3 of 7 starts and $102,021.

The Manhattan Beach, which was restricted to 3-year-old fillies, was Southern Fireball's first stakes win. By Southern Image, Southern Fireball was sixth in the Grade 3 Railbird Stakes over seven furlongs on the main track here on May 9.