11/18/2006 12:00AM

Belgravia remains unbeaten in Prevue

Email

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - He cost $2 million, and now he's 2-for-2. Belgravia, a high-priced purchase at a 2-year-old-in-training sale in Florida earlier this year, remained unbeaten on Saturday with a hard-fought victory over Dilemma in the Grade 3, $100,000 at Hollywood Park.

Belgravia ($6) nosed out the fast-closing Dilemma, and those two finished three lengths clear of Notional, the 6-5 favorite. The race was fast -- 1:22.42 for seven furlongs on Cushion track -- and bodes well for a rematch between the top two in the Grade 1 Hollywood Futurity on Dec. 16.

Belgravia captured his debut as the 6-5 favorite on Oct. 18 at Keeneland. He and entrymate Chief's Magic were the 2-1 second choice behind Notional, who was a swift winner of his debut at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting on Oct. 21.

The longshot Hurry Up Austin went for the lead, with Chief's Magic in close attendance through fractions of 22.59 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 45.71 seconds for a half-mile. Notional was sitting third, just outside those two, but he could not keep pace with Belgravia when the eventual winner advanced with authority four paths wide at the top of the stretch.

Dilemma, who was sixth of seven down the backstretch, made a strong run down the center of the course, but Belgravia dug in and just held him off.

"Today he showed just a little bit more," said Julien Leparoux, who rode Belgravia for trainer Patrick Biancone. "He felt the other horse coming on the outside, and that made him go again."

Alex Solis, who rode Dilemma, said his colt "just keeps improving and improving every race."

Belgravia, by Mr. Greeley, is owned by John Magnier, Michael Tabor, and Ahmed Zayat.