09/18/2001 11:00PM

Two stand to grab the glory at Fairplex


POMONA, Calif. - Claiming horses regularly win stakes at the Los Angeles County Fair, but the $50,000 Gateway to Glory Stakes on Thursday at Fairplex Park is shaping up as an exception.

The 1 1/16-mile race for 2-year-olds drew a field of six, including four from the claiming ranks. On paper, the race appears to revolve around two horses who have never raced for a tag. One is a colt who won a Fairplex maiden race eight days earlier, and the other a shipper from Arapahoe Park who may be best of a weak lot.

Bug Hall, a runaway winner of the Gold Rush Futurity at Arapahoe Park last out, arrives with credentials. After winning his debut May 26 at Prairie Meadows, he gradually improved in four subsequent starts. He ran a close fourth in a Prairie Meadows stakes, then ran second in a Canterbury stakes. The colt then was shipped to Colorado and easily won an allowance rface, and then romped to a 7 1/2-length victory in the Gold Rush on Aug. 26.

Leading rider Martin Pedroza is aboard Bug Hall, a son of Knight In Savannah. Although few Arapahoe invaders win at Fariplex, Bug Hall can become an exception. He is 3 for 5 with earnings of $69,638, credentials that say the Arapahoe shipper may outclass the locals in the field.

Sunkosi needed four starts to win, but the wait was worth it. On Sept. 12, Sunkosi trounced maidens by six lengths while racing 6 1/2 furlongs. The visual impression is that Sunkosi will have little difficulty going the added distance on Thursday.

Debonair Joe won the 6 1/2-furlong Beau Brummel Stakes Sept. 14, and proved at Del Mar that he can stay a distance. Other starters are Meadow Slew, Rainman's Request, and Phoney Gold

Budroyale ready to go Sunday

Budroyale worked seven furlongs Tuesday at Fairplex, and is expected to be assigned highweight for the $100,000 Ralph M. Hinds Pomona Invitational Handicap on Sunday. With jockey Isaias Enriquez up for trainer Ted H. West, Budroyale was timed in 1:29.20. "He's fit," West said. "It was a strong work, and he finished strong."

The "about" 1 1/8-mile Pomona Invitional is the centerpiece of the Los Angeles County Fair meet, which ends Monday. Racing secretary Richard Wheeler expects 8 to 10 runners to start. In addition to Budroyale, who finished second in this race in 1998, others pointing to the Pomona Handicap include 1999 winner Native Desert, 2000 Pomona Derby winner L'Effaceur, Flying Rudolph, and Literal Prowler. Weights were scheduled to be released Wednesday.

*Although only four horses ran in the CTBA Marian Stakes Monday, the winning Spiderette returned $27.80 under Matt Garcia. The upset extended to 10 races the string of beaten stakes-race favorites, and it keyed a two-day pick-6 carryover of $169,379 going into Tuesday's card.