11/05/2001 12:00AM

Another blemish on Officer's record


ARCADIA, Calif. - Yougottawanna, who had never run in a graded stakes, upset Officer, one of the nation's top 2-year-olds, in Saturday's $125,000 California Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita.

Officer, a three-time major stakes winner, was returning a week after finishing fifth as the 7-10 favorite in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Belmont Park.

Sent off at 2-5 in the California Cup Juvenile, Officer appeared on his way to a victory in early stretch.

Racing at the back of the field on the first turn, Officer weaved through traffic on the backstretch to reach contention on the second turn. Ridden by Gary Stevens, he led briefly in early stretch, but was passed on the inside by Yougottawanna, who won by 1 1/2 lengths.

The Cal Cup Juvenile and Breeders' Cup Juvenile are Officer's only losses of his seven-race career.

Trainer Bob Baffert downplayed the loss, saying he wanted to teach Officer to come from off the pace. Nonetheless, the loss dimmed Officer's status as one of the nation's leading juveniles. Baffert still considers Officer a Triple Crown candidate.

"We wanted him to learn something," said. "From here on, there's no messing around. If he'll be a two-turn horse, we need to get to relax. Unfortunately, he didn't win."

Yougottawanna was ridden by Laffit Pincay Jr., who swept Saturday's early double. Last year on California Cup Day, Pincay won five races, including the 9,000th winner of his career. The day showcases California-bred horses in seven stakes and three starter handicaps.

Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer for Halo Farms, Yougottawanna ($7.60) ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.97. He was coupled with Surprized, who closed from sixth to finish third in the field of 12.

Pincay feared he was beaten in early stretch, but was impressed by the way Yougottawanna responded.

"[Officer] looked good going by me, but I never lost hope," Pincay said. "I felt like my horse was responding and still had a shot. I could hear the crowd. In the last part, he was drawing away. He impressed me the last time I rode him."

Yougottawanna won two stakes at the Oak Tree meeting, including the restricted Pinjara Stakes over a mile on turf on Oct. 12.

Classic: 'Irisheyes' was flying

The biggest Cal Cup winners were the partnership that owns Irisheyesareflying, the winner of the $250,000 California Cup Classic. A 5-year-old, Irisheyesareflying ($7.60) was claimed for $50,000 in May 2000 by Lloyd Graham, Alice Taylor, and trainer John Dolan and his wife, Cathy. The victory was worth $150,000 and was Irisheyesareflying's second consecutive stakes win, coming 10 weeks after he won the Grade 3 Longacres Mile at Emerald Downs. "I think this is the best race of his life," said Dolan.

Ridden by Kent Desormeaux, Irisheyesareflying ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.14, outfinishing Figlio Mio before an ontrack crowd of 37,184. Vixen Storm, the longest shot in the field at 72-1, finished third.

Irisheyesareflying avoided that mess with a wide rally. Desormeaux kept Irishesyesareflying close throughout and moved four-wide on the second turn. "Kent did a great job," Dolan said. "I told him, 'Don't get hooked into following too close.' It worked out perfect." Figlio Mio snuck through along the inside to lead in midstretch, but Irishesyesareflying was moving best on the outside.

"Once we straightened up, my horse exploded," Desormeaux said.

Irishesyesareflying has won 7 of 31 starts and $621,256. This year, he has earned $507,100.

Mile: Native Desert wins for second time

Native Desert, claimed for $32,000 in 1996, won the $175,000 California Cup Mile for the second time, displaying the courage that has enabled him to bank more than $1.5 million for owner Miguel Rubio.

Stuck in sixth place in early stretch, Native Desert rallied between horses to beat Spinelessjellyfish by a head, finishing a mile on turf in 1:34.97.

"I had a beautiful trip," jockey Eddie Delahoussaye said. "If you move too soon, he hangs. The timing was just right."

An 8-year-old, Native Desert ($4.60) was making his fifth consecutive appearance in the California Cup. He was unplaced in the 1997 Sprint, third in the 1998 Mile, won the Mile in 1999, and was second in the same race last year.

"Horses come and horses go and he's still here," trainer Juan Garcia said. "He's as good as ever, like he was when he was a 3-year-old."

Garcia was not concerned in early stretch when Native Desert was behind several of those. "I was hoping he'd find room and wasn't worried about the other horses," he said. "I crossed my fingers. He doesn't like to win by much."

Sprint: Ceeband proves a wise claim

Ceeband, claimed for $62,500 last March, won his third stakes of 2001 in the $150,000 California Cup Sprint.

Ceeband ($4.40) got a perfect trip under jockey Matt Garcia. Fifth early, he was well behind the fast pace of 21.30 and 44.49 seconds set by Gibson County, but reached contention with a wide rally on the turn. Ceeband took the lead in midstretch and won by two lengths over Stormy Jack, running six furlongs in 1:08.82. Gibson County finished third in the field of six.

Ceeband is owned by CRK Stables and trained by John Sadler.

"He's good and sharp," Sadler said. "It's right up there with one of my better claims. He doesn't like this track as well as Hollywood so for him to win here he had to be pretty sharp."

Matron: Cee Dreams gets perfect trip

In the $150,000 California Cup Matron, Cee Dreams took advantage of a perfect trip to win her second stakes win of the year.

Ridden by Laffit Pincay, Jr., Cee Dreams ($9.40) raced in mid-pack to the final turn when she rallied around the fading pacesetters - Feverish and Jenna's Joy, who set torrid fractions of 22.35 and 45.31 seconds.

Cee Dreams ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.48, outfinishing Favorite Funtime, who was part of an entry sent off as the 2-1 favorite. Elaine's Angel finished third in the field of eight.

Cee Dreams, owned by a partnership and trained by Peter Eurton, was claimed for $20,000 in December 1999. A 5-year-old mare, Cee Dreams won the E.B. Johnston Stakes at Fairplex Park in September.

Distaff: Jeweled Pirate runs to plan

A yearlong plan for a start on California Cup Day worked to perfection when Jeweled Pirate won the $150,000 Distaff on the hillside turf course.

Ridden by Chris McCarron, Jeweled Pirate ($5.60) stalked the front-runners until the field crossed over the main track where she took over. A 4-year-old, Jeweled Pirate won by 1 1/2 lengths over Warren's Whistle, who finished a neck in front of 118-1 Storm Kisu in the field of 14. Jeweled Pirate finished about 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:12.72. Owned by Bob and Betty Irvin and trained by Ray Bell, Jeweled Pirate was given a seven-month break after winning the Pro or Con Handicap last February. She finished fourth in an allowance race last month as a prep to the California Cup.

Juvenile Fillies: Lady George upsets

Owner Gordon Severson, and trainer Tony Locke scored their biggest career wins when Lady George ($32.20) upset Fragrant Cloud, the 3-5 favorite, in the $125,000 California Cup Juvenile Fillies.

The time of 1:45.84 for 1 1/16 miles was slow, but Lady George and Fragrant Cloud fought through an exciting stretch duel with Lady George prevailing by a head.

Ridden by Jose Silva, Lady George raced wide throughout and reached contention on the final turn. The Juvenile Fillies was her first stakes win in her seventh start.

* In the remaining Cal Cup races, Lil Sister Stich ($10.60) pulled away in early stretch to win the the $50,000 Distaff Starter Handicap; As We Know It ($13.40) won his fourth consecutive start, outfinishing defending champion White Cloud in the $50,000 Starter Handicap; and Rio Oro ($19.40), a graded stakes winner in 1996, scored a two-length win over Jersey Rebel in the $50,000 Starter Sprint Handicap.