11/03/2001 1:00AM

Calder: Raponera upsets


MIAMI - Raponera, who had not won a race all season and had never won on grass, broke both of those losing streaks in high style when she rallied to a 1 1/4-length victory over Golden Saint in the $54,560 Powder Break Handicap at Calder.

Raponera ($34.80) avoided some severe crowding to her immediate outside leaving the gate, raced within easy striking distance on the backstretch, readily overtook the tiring leader I No Best leaving the far turn, and, after drawing clear in midstretch, withstood a closing surge from Golden Saint.

Golden Saint was among a group of four horses bothered at the start but overcame the trouble to finish a late-striding second, 2 1/4 lengths before the 8-5 favorite Silver Bandana, who took the worst of the bumping incident after the start.

Castlebrook and Coolbythepool were among nine horses scratched when the race was kept on a yielding grass course despite the rainy conditions.