12/07/2010 7:27PM

Temecula Creek draws clear in Valley Forge Stakes

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Alyssa Spakowski/EQUI-PHOTO
Former claimer Temecula Creek, ridden by Cornelio Velasquez, captures the Valley Forge Stakes.

Temecula Creek continued his remarkable rags-to-riches season by winning Tuesday’s $75,200 Valley Forge Stakes at Parx Racing.

A 6-year-old based in New York with trainer Rudy Rodriguez, Temecula Creek ($3.20) began the year running for a bottom $7,500 tag, beaten 12 lengths as the ninth-place finisher. Claimed that day by Rodriguez on behalf of Steven Speranza and Robert Joscelyn, Temecula Creek proceeded to win 6 of 9 starts for his new connections. Although the Valley Forge was his first stakes win, Temecula Creek was good enough to finish second in the $94,000 Icecapade at Monmouth Park and fourth in the Grade 1 Vosburgh at Belmont Park.

In Tuesday’s six-furlong Valley Forge, jockey Cornelio Velasquez kept Temecula Creek in fourth behind a contested pace of 45.73 seconds. Once he found room in the stretch, Temecula Creek took off down the middle of the track and pulled clear by 2 1/2 lengths while completing the distance in 1:09.82.

One Ocean Drive, who led most of the way as a 22-1 longshot, held second, finishing 1 1/2 lengths in front of Indianski.

Gattopardo, a 5-year-old making just his second start since finishing second in the Grade 3 Bay Shore in April 2008, finished in a dead heat for fifth as the 3-1 second choice in a field of seven.