03/17/2002 12:00AM

Big Shot gives Mandella first win


ALBANY, Calif. - Big Shot ($14.80) held off a determined bid by Anstar down the stretch to win the $55,000-added Silky Sullivan Starter Handicap on Sunday at Golden Gate Fields.

The victory in the 1 1/16-mile race that was switched from turf to dirt was the first for trainer Gary Mandella, who had started only three other horses. The winning time was 1:42.53 as Big Shot won for the first time in 12 starts since Aug. 26, 2000.

Jockey Jason Lumpkins put Big Shot on the lead as he rated kindly down the backstretch and around the turn. Anstar, who had two wins and a second in three starts on off tracks, moved up and launched a bid into the lane.

"When (Anstar) came to me into the stretch, my horse just pinned his ears and dug in," Lumpkins said. "He ran game the length of the stretch and wouldn't let that other horse by."

Adalberto Lopez said Anstar started to lug in and lost a little momentum as he worked to keep him straight. "It was either that or my number would have come down," Lopez said.