Ridden by regular pilot Chad Schvaneveldt, Tribesman popped the gate in the six-furlong event and was never seriously challenged while setting a hot pace. The winner edged away gamely in the final sixteenth to win easily by 1 3/4 lengths in an outstanding time of 1:07.80. Idiot Proof touched the fast-closing Sailors Sunset out of second by a head.
Roger Hansen trains the 4-year-old Tribesman for California owner and breeder Kjell H. Qvale. It was the second stakes win for the Tribal Rule gelding, who captured the Sausalito last November at Golden Gate Fields. Tribesman has won six of his last seven starts since his maiden victory Aug. 19 at Bay Meadows Fair.
An expected pace duel never materialized as Tribesman powered to a two-length advantage over King Justin after a sizzling opening quarter mile of :21.30. The half-mile split was a blistering :43.17 as the stalking Idiot Proof, ridden by David Flores, moved into contention on the leader's outside. Tribesman was still fresh, however, after going five furlongs in :54.96, and responded willingly to the 4-5 favorite's mid-stretch challenge to win handily under a vigorous ride.
After losing his first three races last year, Tribesman improved his career mark to 6-0-2 in 10 starts with earnings of $223,281. Schvaneveldt has been aboard for each of the bay's wins during his current streak.
The grade I winner Idiot Proof, who ran second in the TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) Oct. 27 at Monmouth Park, was using the Phoenix Gold Cup as a prep for the Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I) March 29, according to trainer Clifford Sise Jr.
Sent off as the second choice in the field of nine, Tribesman paid $8.80, $4, and $3.20. Idiot Proof returned $2.80 and $2.20, while completing a $2 exacta worth $25.80. The multiple grade III winner Sailors Sunset, who ran second in last year's Phoenix Gold Cup for Southern California trainer Marcelo Polanco, was $2.80 to show with Turf Paradise's leading jockey Chris Landeros aboard.
The $75,000 Turf Paradise Handicap at one mile on the turf was won by the Irish-bred Billy Allen, owned by Robert Bone and trained by Keith Bennett. Under furious urging from Landeros in deep stretch, Billy Allen held off the rallying Crested for victory, with Willow O Wisp third. Bllly Allen, who paid $8 to win, has back-to-back victories on the Turf Paradise lawn since being claimed for $50,000 at Hollywood Park Dec. 13.