08/25/2002 11:00PM

Came Home upsets Pacific Classic

Email

DEL MAR, Calif. ? Came Home, who has dominated 3-year-old racing on the West Coast this year, pulled an upset in Sunday's $1 million Pacific Classic at Del Mar, in which his entrymate Bosque Redondo was injured.

Came Home ($23) beat 13 others including War Emblem, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner. The 6-5 favorite, War Emblem led briefly in early stretch but finished sixth.

Came Home ran 1 1/4 miles in 2:01.45 for his sixth stakes win of 2002, all in California. Trained by Paco Gonzalez, Came Home's only loss this year was a sixth in the Kentucky Derby.

Came Home was always within four lengths of the front under Mike Smith. For the first half of the race, Came Home was fifth, chasing pacesetters Bosque Redondo and Sky Jack ? who set fractions of 22.52 seconds, 45.48, and 1:09.82 ? and stalkers War Emblem and Momentum.

On the final turn, War Emblem made the first move on the leaders, with Came Home reacting quickly with a four-wide rally.

"I knew we'd win at the three-eighths pole," said co-owner Trudy McCaffery. "Mike had him under wraps the whole way."

Turning for home, there were four horses across the track within a span of 1 1/2 lengths. War Emblem led for a few strides, but was quickly caught by Came Home.

Through the final furlong, Came Home was hard ridden to hold off an unlucky Momentum, who was blocked between the quarter pole and the eighth pole. Momentum closed ground in the final furlong, but finished three-quarters of a length behind Came Home. Milwaukee Brew closed from 13th to finish third, followed by Pleasantly Perfect, Bosque Redondo, and War Emblem, who finished 4 1/4 lengths behind Came Home.

"Everything went my way," Smith said. "I had a wonderful trip, the best."

Trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Victor Espinoza said War Emblem was not prepared at the start. War Emblem was taken out of the gate with a few horses yet to be loaded and was loaded last.

"The back door to the gate wasn't even closed when they opened the front one," Espinoza said. "He wasn't ready to break and we came away a little too slow."

Bosque Redondo was injured a few strides after the finish. A winner of 6 of 17 starts and nearly $500,000, the 5-year-old Bosque Redondo suffered fractured sesamoids to his right foreleg. He was scheduled to undergo surgery Tuesday night.

Flores was unseated when Bosque Redondo broke down and took off the rest of his mounts.

The injury cast a pall on the second Pacific Classic win for McCaffery and John Toffan, who own Bosque Redondo and share ownership of Came Home with Bill Farish and John Goodman. McCaffery and Toffan owned Free House, who won the Pacific Classic in 1998.

"It just kind of takes the wind out of your sails," McCaffery said.

Came Home has won 9 of 11 starts and $1,835,940. Toffan said Came Home could race next in the Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap at Santa Anita on Oct. 6 and then the Breeders' Cup Classic at Arlington Park on Oct. 26.

Kalookan Queen repeats

Kalookan Queen successfully defended her title in Sunday's $150,000 Rancho Bernardo Handicap at Del Mar, defeating four other fillies and mares, all stakes winners.

Ridden by Alex Solis, Kalookan Queen ($3.20) finished 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:16.40, winning by 3 1/2 lengths over Warren's Whistle. The Grade 3 Rancho Bernardo was Kalookan Queen's sixth stakes win.

Solis had Kalookan Queen close to the pace on the backstretch. She took the lead approaching the turn and pulled clear through the stretch under a hand ride.

"The race came out easy for us," Solis said. "I had a good position."

Warren's Whistle closed from last to finish a half-length in front of 21-1 Fancee Bargain. Go Go, expected to offer Kalookan Queen her toughest challenge, was out of contention in early stretch and finished a well-beaten fourth. Jockey Eddie Delahoussaye said Go Go bled from the lungs. Ayanna was last of five.

The 6-year-old Kalookan Queen has won 10 of 23 starts and $896,049 for owner Luis Asistio and trainer Bruce Headley. She will be pointed to the Ancient Title Breeders' Cup Handicap against males at Oak Tree on Oct. 5.

"It looks like she's getting better with age," Headley said. "She's awful sharp."

o In the $76,050 Finlandia Cup for 3-year-old fillies, Ragin T Rex led throughout to win her second stakes of the year. Ridden by Matt Garcia, Ragin T Rex ($24.40) ran a mile on turf in 1:34.42, holding off a sustained rally by European import Sentimental Value. Nobilissime finished third in the field of eight.