03/07/2005 12:00AM

'Code' lands favoritism off debut

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HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Trainer Graham Motion was delighted with Code Cracker's second-place finish behind odds-on favorite Wanderin Boy when Code Cracker made his 2005 debut in the opening week of the meet, Jan. 7. He was even more pleased when Wanderin Boy returned a month later to win the Grade 3 Mineshaft Handicap at Fair Grounds.

will finally return for his second start of the year, and is the one to beat in Wednesday's $33,000 feature at Gulfstream Park. The one-mile entry-level allowance race also drew Misto Quente, a Brazilian-bred who has placed in three Group 1 races.

"I thought my horse ran a big race that day, and it made me feel real good when Wanderin Boy came back to win the stakes," said Motion. "I wanted to run him in the next one, but he got sick. He's doing well now and should run another good race on Wednesday."

Code Cracker was outrun when he launched his career at Delaware Park on Oct. 11, but rebounded three weeks later with an eight-length maiden allowance win. In his local debut, Code Cracker earned a career-best 93 Beyer Speed Figure despite finishing 3 1/2 lengths behind Wanderin Boy.

Edgar Prado was again scheduled to ride Code Cracker but will miss the assignment after receiving a three-day riding suspension by the Santa Anita stewards beginning Wednesday. He will be replaced by John Velazquez.

will make his U.S. debut for trainer Ken McPeek. A homebred, Misto Quente was outrun in his only previous try on dirt, but that effort came over a heavy track in his first career start. Since then he has posted a win and four second-place finishes, three of which came in Group 1 races at distances ranging from one mile to 1 1/2 miles.

Brice Blanc rides Misto Quente, who will race on Lasix for the first time.

Anew and Superior Odds renew acquaintances. Superior Odds won the first encounter between the two by 2 1/2 lengths despite a slow start, then returned four weeks later to finish second behind Yankee Mon going six furlongs under first-level allowance conditions.

Anew rebounded from his defeat to Superior Odds by winning his maiden by eight lengths while covering seven furlongs in 1:22.80 on Feb. 9. Both horses are bred to handle the added distance.