12/22/2001 12:00AM

Coa sweeps Calder Hundred Granders


MIAMI, Fla. - One Eyed Joker, whose 3-year-old campaign started at Calder on New Year's Day with a sixth place finish in the Tropical Oaks, ended over the same course 12 months later on a happier note with a half length victory over Tour Of The Cat in Saturday's $100,000 Pete Axthelm Stakes. Eibar Coa rode the winner then completed a sweep of the afternoon's co-features by guiding Extend to an upset win in the $100,000 Stage Door Betty Handicap.

One Eyed Joker rated within easy striking distance of the pacesetting Tour Of The Cat through the opening half mile of the seven and one half furlong Axthelm, moved three wide to commence his bid on the second turn, overtook the leader near the eighth pole then maintained a short advantage under strong handling from Coa.

Tour Of The Cat held on determinedly once displaced on the lead to finish second, one and one half lengths in front of the late striding Boastful.

T V Sports Director, the tepid 5-2 favorite in a field of 12 3-year-old colts and geldings, raced wide into the stretch and finished a tiring seventh.

One Eyed Joker paid $9.20 after covering the distance in 1:28.15 over a firm course. The victory was the fourth in 13 starts this season for the son of Polish Numbers and Buffels and pushed his 2001 earnings above the $240,000 mark for owners David Hulkewicz and Michael Rainier.

"He couldn't have gotten a more perfect trip, Eibar(Coa) followed the plan just right," said winning trainer Bill Perry. "He's really been a very consistent horse who tries every time. He's had a long campaign so we'll probably give him a little R & R and then bring him back at some point during the Gulfstream meet."

Coa completed his sweep of Saturday's two hundred granders aboard Extend who posted a gritty neck decision over Happily Unbridled in the Stage Door Betty Handicap.

Extend, who has been racing regularly at Woodbine, set the pace in the 1 & 1/6 mile Stage Door Betty but appeared beaten when challenged by several rivals turning for home. But the 3-year-old daughter of Unbridled's Song dug in gamely after relinquishing the lead to outfinish a rail skimming Happily Unbridled. It was another length and one quarter back to Halo Reality who loomed boldly into the stretch then hung late and finished third.

De Bertie, the 9-5 favorite, made a five wide run to reach close contention into the stretch then flattened out badly and finished fifth.

Extend covered the distance in 1:46.74 on a fast track and paid $29.20.

"At the top of the stretch I thought she was beat but she really was game and showed a lot of determination to come back on and win," said Roger Attfield who trains Extend for owner Cam Allard. "She was a tough horse to train as a 2-year-old but has really matured mentally and improved with racing. She'll run some this winter but for the most part will be freshened up for next year's Canadian racing season."