05/29/2004 12:00AM

Calder: Built Up moving in right direction


MIAMI - Built Up is getting good again at the right time.

After going off form during the fall and early this winter, Built Up proved he's back on top of his game by drawing off to a 4 1/4-length victory over surprising favorite Weigelia in Saturday's $75,000 Ponche Handicap at Calder. Tour of the Cat, the 123-pound highweight, finished fourth in the scratch-reduced field of five.

Built Up, who has shown improved speed in winning two of his last three starts, forced the pace from the outset of the six-furlong Ponche. He battled Weigelia, the only 3-year-old in the field, on even terms into the stretch, then pulled away.

Weigelia, who went off the even-money favorite, easily held second by two lengths over Bernard's Candy. Tour of the Cat broke a step slowly, raced wide, and finished fourth. Royal Lad completed the order of finish.

A 6-year-old son of Homebuilder, Built Up paid $13.40. He covered the distance in 1:11.10 over a fast but cuppy track.

The victory will likely earn Built Up a trip to the $500,000 Smile Sprint Handicap here on July 10. A nine-time stakes winner, Built Up finished fourth in the 2003 Smile and fourth in 2002.

Built Up is trained by Enrique Alonso for owner Raymond Susi.