07/09/2004 11:00PM

Champali holds on in Smile

Skip Smith
Champali (1) takes the Smile Sprint by a nose over Clock Stopper, who is inside of him. Champali is now headed for the Breeders' Cup Sprint.

MIAMI - Champali showed both his class and heart, outgaming a fast-closing Clock Stopper to register a nose victory in Saturday's $500,000 at Calder.

Champali, the 117-pound highweight in the six-furlong Smile, set the pace after breaking from post 1 under jockey Jerry Bailey. Champali forged to a narrow advantage leaving the eighth pole while drifting slightly off the rail, then dug in gamely to outlast Clock Stopper, who rallied along the rail and drew even with the winner before dropping the close decision in the final stride.

Built Up, the best of the locally based entrants, held on willingly to finish third, a neck behind Clock Stopper and another neck in front of My Cousin Matt.

"He really showed a lot of courage and heart," said Bailey, who was aboard Champali for the first time in the Grade 3 Smile.

"At the sixteenth pole I was a little concerned," said Greg Foley, who trains Champali for Lloyd Madison Farms IV, LLC. "At that point, the way Clock Stopper was coming on I thought he was beat."

Champali came into the race off a pair of victories at Churchill Downs, including the Grade 3 Aristides Handicap in his previous start. He ran six furlongs in 1:10.14 over a cuppy but fast racetrack, and paid $7.20 as the second choice in a scratch-reduced field of 10. Scratched were Alke, the morning-line favorite, Hombre Rapido, and Super Frolic.

"From the inside post he figured close or on the pace," Foley said of Champali. "He wanted to get out a little on the turn, but he's the kind of horse who gives his best every time he runs, and certainly is the best horse I've ever trained."

Foley said he will likely give Champali one more race before the Breeders' Cup Sprint at Lone Star Park on Oct. 30.