08/11/2004 11:00PM

Blackdoun goes after first graded stakes

Blackdoun rallies from nine lengths back to score a 2 1/2-length win in the July 21 Oceanside Stakes at Del Mar, his first and only U.S. start.

DEL MAR, Calif. - Blackdoun chased the top 3-year-olds in France earlier this year before being sold to race in the United States. In his lone race in this country, Blackdoun was the colt his rivals were chasing at the finish.

On July 21 at Del Mar, Blackdoun scored an impressive victory in a division of the restricted Oceanside Stakes, rallying from seventh to win by 2 1/2 lengths. Saturday, Blackdoun tries for his first graded stakes win in the $150,000 La Jolla Handicap, a Grade 2 stakes over 1 1/16 miles on turf for 3-year-olds.

shares high weight of 120 pounds with Laura's Lucky Boy, the winner of the Grade 3 Will Rogers Stakes at Hollywood Park in May. The race drew five other runners: Austin Barber, Bedmar, Semi Lost, Sujimoto, and Unrivalled.

Blackdoun had been in the United States for approximately a month before the Oceanside, long enough for trainer Julio Canani to learn some of Blackdoun's habits.

"I didn't train him hard, and I found out he doesn't like to be trained hard," Canani said.

In the Oceanside, Blackdoun trailed by nine lengths on the backstretch and rallied four wide under Corey Nakatani to win comfortably over Terroplane.

After the Oceanside, Canani considered waiting for the Del Mar Derby on Sept. 6, but now wants to incorporate the La Jolla into Blackdoun's campaign. "He did it so well and so easy, I might as well run him," Canani said.

In 1998, Ladies Din, trained by Canani, swept the Oceanside, La Jolla, and Del Mar Derby.

Blackdoun must catch . Trained by Jason Orman, Laura's Lucky Boy has won 3 of 5 starts, including the Grade 3 Will Rogers Stakes over a mile at Hollywood Park on May 22. He rallied from fifth that day to win by four lengths.

In his last start, Laura's Lucky Boy was caught in a speed duel with Unrivalled, shook him off to lead by 2 1/2 lengths at the eighth pole, but was caught by Greek Sun and lost by two lengths.

"I think it was the circumstances of the race that got him beat," Orman said.

Bobby Frankel trains Greek Sun, who is entered in Saturday's Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park. The barn will be represented in the La Jolla Handicap by the promising French import Sujimoto. By Woodman, Sujimoto has won 3 of 4 starts and was fourth in a Group 3 in France in June.

, second in the first division of the Oceanside behind Wild Babe, starts for top trainer Jeff Mullins. Semi Lost made his stakes debut in a division of the Oceanside Stakes. He rallied from sixth through traffic to lose by a neck to Wild Babe. Mullins said Semi Lost needs a good trip Saturday for a breakthrough performance.

"He got boxed up last time and couldn't get out," he said. "If he'd gotten clear at the three-eighths, he would be a stakes winner."