05/28/2007 12:00AM

Fantastic Spain ($18.20) pulls upset


ALBANY, Calif. – Fantastic Spain ($18.20) outfinished favored Notable Guest to win the Grade 3, $191,400 Golden Gate Fields Breeders’ Cup at 1 3/8 miles on the turf Monday at Golden Gate Fields.

Last early, Fantastic Spain began to move up in the field of eight on the backstretch, while far behind leaders Now Victory and Railroad.

“I wasn’t concerned about the runners up front, I just wanted to stay in contact with the pack,” winning jockey Chad Schvaneveldt said.

Fantastic Spain moved into contention and was in traffic heading into the stretch, as Notable Guest took control of the race. Fantastic Spain steadied momentarily behind a tiring Railroad, then barged through a hole between Now Victory and Notable Guest.

“Quick as I had a place to go, I knew I could win unless the other horse re-broke, and they don’t usually re-break going a mile and three-eighths,” said Schvaneveldt after winning by a neck in 2:17.64.

“We’d been wanting to go long with him,” said John O’Donoghue, the assistant to winning trainer Neil Drysdale, who entered three runners in the race.

The stakes win was the first of Fantastic Spain’s career. Fantastic Spain is a half-brother to millionaire Spain, who began her career in Northern California. He earned $118,900 to lift his career earnings to $359,800 with 5 victories in 15 starts.

The victory was Drysdale’s third in the race after back-to-back wins with Special Price and Time Star in 1995-96.