01/01/2005 12:00AM

Calder: $80 upset in Chaposa Springs


Expect an Angel, by far the longest price on the board at 39-1, rallied to a three-length decision over Alix M in the $100,000 Chaposa Spring Handicap at Calder. The race was advanced one day on the calendar so it would be run in 2004 and maintain its Grade 3 status.

Expect an Angel, a 4-year-old daughter of Valid Expectations, was running under a $10,000 claiming tag on Sept. 11 and came into the race off a first-level allowance victory. Ridden by Jose Lopez, Expect an Angel raced near the back of the pack during the early stages of the seven-furlong dash, circled the leaders into the stretch, overtook Alix M at the sixteenth pole, and won going away.

Alix M, the leader of the local filly and mare handicap division, contested the pace and finished second, 1 1/2 lengths in front of Habiboo. Ebony Breeze, the 6-5 favorite, broke a step slowly and finished fifth.

Expect an Angel covered the distance in 1:23.66 over a sloppy track and paid $80.80.

"She had some problems when she ran for $10,000, but she has responded to therapy," said Bobby Hale who trains Expect an Angel for his wife, Kay. "I took a shot that day. I didn't nominate for the Sunshine Millions but I can still get her in it."