09/15/2006 11:00PM

Win McCool takes first stakes

Win McCool with Garrett Gomez riding wins the Floral Park on Saturday at Belmont Park.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Win McCool finally lived up to her regal bloodlines Saturday, dueling longshot Pretty Imposing into defeat and drawing off to a 1 1/2-length victory in the Grade 3, $110,900 at Belmont Park.

Great Intentions, who was perfectly positioned behind the dueling leaders, had to settle for second, 1 1/4 lengths ahead of Stormy Kiss in third. Swap Fliparoo, the Test winner and 2-1 Floral Park favorite, finished fourth and was followed by For All We Know, Indian Flare, Ever Elusive, and Pretty Imposing.

It was the first stakes victory for Win McCool, a daughter of Giant's Causeway out of the multiple Grade 1 stakes-producing mare Win Crafty Lady. Win McCool, trained by Robert Barbara, is a half-sister to Grade 1 winners Graeme Hall and Harmony Lodge.

"She's bred to be a champion," Barbara said. "But things didn't go right all the time. She'd do this, she'd do that, she'd do this, she'd do that. Today, everything went right. That's how it works. You just had to wait on her."

Under Garrett Gomez, Win McCool ($33.40) dueled outside of Pretty Imposing through early fractions of 22.15 seconds and 44.54. Approaching the eighth pole, Pretty Imposing was done and Win McCool was two lengths clear of the field. Despite a perfect trip under Edgar Prado, Great Intentions could not run down Win McCool, who covered six furlongs in 1:09.40.

Gomez, who was riding Win McCool for the first time, said he had to let his filly run early.

"I kind of pitched the reins to her and said, 'Okay, momma, do what you're going to do,' " Gomez said. "All I was going to do was make her mad. I was hoping when I turned for home that she just didn't peter out on me as fast as we were going."

Barbara, who won two races on the card and now has four wins for the meet, said Win McCool would run next in the Grade 2, $150,000 Gallant Bloom Handicap here Oct. 8.