09/03/2007 12:00AM

Demeteor ($48) upsets Rossi Gold Stakes

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Demeteor returned to the place he seems to love best, the Arlington turf course, and scored a major upset in the $47,300 Rossi Gold Stakes, the first of two overnight grass stakes at Arlington.

Demeteor, who dropped back second-last in the seven-horse Rossi Gold, rallied strongly in the final half-mile under Diego Sanchez, who won the second stakes race of his career. Trained by Bill Lazuka for owner Kenneth Hoffman (who often has been listed as Demeteor's trainer), Demeteor paid $48 to win after beating heavily favored Go Between by a neck.

Demeteor won twice here earlier this meet, beating higher-level turf claiming horses on both occasions. Hoffman took him to Woodbine, where Demetor won another claimer, this time on Polytrack, before finishing fourth on grass in his most recent start. But back at Arlington, Demeteor quickly bounced back.

Majestic Zeal set the early pace on a firm, fast-playing course, going an opening half-mile in 48.67 seconds while well clear on the lead. Go Between, who moved while wide on the far turn, was the first to collar him, taking the lead at the stretch call. But Demeteor quickly pounced after turning for home, reached Go Between just past the sixteenth pole, and edged clear in the final yards. He was timed in 1:55.16 for 1 3/16 miles.

Come on Jazz, who had serious traffic problems at the quarter pole, ran late for third. Holding Court, the India-based horse making his U.S. debut, was heavily bet early in the wagering, opening up as the 3-5 favorite. He raced closest to Majestic Zeal, but faltered late and finished sixth, beating only Golden Harpoon.

* A tough day at Arlington for the Todd Pletcher stable did not improve in the Claire Marine Stakes, where heavily favored Almonsoon basically was eased after getting out badly on the third turn and into the stretch.

With Almonsoon out of the race by the top of the stretch, second choice Arosa took over, winning by 2 3/4 lengths over longshot Indy Dancer. Arosa, trained by Patrick Biancone, paid $6.60 to win, and was timed in 2:30.52 for 1 1/2 miles on firm turf. Yanquee Reign finished third.