Gomez breaks Bailey's stakes victories record

Updated: November 11, 2007, 9:51 PM ET
By Steve Andersen | Daily Racing Form

Hollywood Park, 8th Race - November 11, 2007

$108,100 Moccasin S.
7Spring Awakening5.203.002.40
6Sindy Jacobson5.002.60
5The Golden Noodle2.40
$1 Exacta (7-6) Paid $11.40, $2 Quinella (6-7) Paid $12.00, $1 Trifecta (7-6-5) Paid $38.70

INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- Garrett Gomez broke Jerry Bailey's record for stakes victories in a year Sunday with his 71st, riding 2-year-old filly Spring Awakening to victory in the $100,000 Moccasin Stakes at Hollywood Park.

The win came a day after Gomez tied Bailey's 2003 record aboard Hucking Hot in the $65,000 Audrey Kenis Skirball Stakes. "Until I tied it yesterday, it really hadn't sunk in," Gomez said. "I just pointed 'em in the right direction."

Gomez and Spring Awakening, the heavy favorite in the 7-furlong sprint, sat a comfortable third on the backstretch then dueled with Sindy Jacobson in the homestretch before taking the lead and pulling away for a two-length victory.

"When we turned for home, these two fillies really got to running," Gomez said. "I couldn't ask her to run too much faster. Her little legs were going a hundred miles an hour. I didn't put her in the race, she put herself in the race. She was doing it all on her own."

The 35-year-old Gomez also easily leads the nation in total earnings with $21.4 million in purses.

His 2007 stakes victories included a runaway win in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Sprint on Midnight Lute, a victory in the $1 million Haskell Invitation on Any Given Saturday and a win on star filly Rags to Riches in the $500,000 Kentucky Oaks.

Spring Awakening won in 1:21.38 and paid $5.20, $3 and $2.40. Sindy Jacobson returned $5 and $2.60. The Golden Noodle paid $2.60 to show.

Trained by Mike Mitchell for owner Gerald Frankel, Spring Awakening earned $68,1000 for the win, her second in four starts, for a career total of $167,962.