02/19/2005 12:00AM

Cosmic Lady scores Burlingame Stakes upset


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Cosmic Lady ($65.80) survived an inquiry to record a game victory in the $71,500 Burlingame Stakes at Bay Meadows on Saturday.

Cosmic Lady saved ground the whole way and began to move out for room after leaving the quarter pole. As she was straightening out, she was bumped by a tiring Unusual Spring, which forced Hold the Game to steady sharply behind her.

Cosmic Lady rallied willingly in the stretch, outfinishing Tense Wager, the longest shot on the board, to win the 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-old fillies by a nose. The winning time was 1:44.07 over a sloppy track.

Hold the Game, who had no room until angling out in deep stretch, was third, a neck behind Tense Wager with favored pacesetter Laguna Pointe another head back just in front of On London Time in a five-way photo.

"I was able to save ground, and that was the difference," winning rider Macario Rodriguez said. "When I hit her at the eighth pole, she gave me more."

Trainer Lloyd Mason conceded the victory was "surprising."

"I couldn't find a race for her," he said. "I entered her for $25,000, but the race didn't go. I knew she could handle an off track and could handle the distance."

Mason, who bred and owns Cosmic Lady, saw her win her third career victory in 10 starts. She earned $39,725 to lift her career earnings to $87,000.