08/18/2005 12:00AM

'Chowder' wins from nowhere


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - At the eighth pole of Thursday's $66,500 for New York-breds, jockey Javier Castellano was just hoping he could finish fourth aboard Chowder's First.

With one horse beat and racing extremely wide, Chowder's First appeared hopelessly beaten while Clever Electrician, Top Shoter, and Papua appeared headed for a blanket finish.

But inside the final furlong, Chowder's First unleashed a powerful late run and was able to run by Clever Electrician in the final 10 yards of the Saratoga stretch to get up by three-quarters of a length in the Morrissey. Clever Electrician, who won this race last year, was second by three-quarters of a length over Papua.

Trainer Phil Serpe said he only put Chowder's First in the Morrissey because the horse needed a place to run. Chowder's First had not run since finishing third in the Evan Shipman on July 24, and there were no route stakes opportunities for New York-breds at Saratoga.

"I was worried at the half-mile pole - he didn't want to go," Castellano said. "I put him in position, but he didn't want to go. Then he started to pick it up little by little. What a kick. He's got great acceleration."

It was the second stakes win of the week for Serpe, who won Monday's John's Call Handicap with Rousing Victory.

"That was a hell of an eighth of a mile," Serpe said. "I said, 'Oh good, he's going to get on the board somewhere,' and then off all of a sudden we realized we might get this thing."

Chowder's First covered 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:18.53 and returned $29.80.