09/08/2002 12:00AM

Fast-finishing Profound Secret wins Big Jag

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SAN MATEO, Calif. - Profound Secret ($6.20) unleashed a powerful stretch kick to run down El Dorado Shooter in the lane as he rallied from last to win the $64,050 Big Jag Handicap at Bay Meadows on Sunday.

El Dorado Shooter dueled early with Sempai, opening up on mid-turn of the six-furlong race. He held a 3.5-length lead in the stretch, but Profound Secret split Sirpa and Sempai and was gaining with every stride. He won by 1.5 lengths in 1:08.72.

"I got a little worried when I saw (El Dorado Shooter) open so quickly on the turn, but he really kicked home," winning jockey Joey Castro said.

"I was hoping he'd get there," winning trainer Kent Molinaro said. "El Dorado Shooter's the best sprinter around here when he's right, and he's shown he can run when he's hooked.

"Profound Secret's the best he's been in his whole life, and he always runs hard."

Molinaro purchased the 8-year-old horse for $75,000 as a 2-year-old at the February 1996 Ocala Sale for his father, Robert. Sunday's victory was the eighth in 50 starts for Profound Secret, who has earned $478,450.

El Dorado Shooter's trainer Cliff Delima was pleased with his 5-year-old gelding's effort.

"I knew he needed one more work," Delima said. "They'll have a helluva time catching him next time."