10/24/2003 11:00PM

Gamble pays off for Cajun Beat

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Cajun Beat with Cornelio Velasquez up wins the 2003 Breeders' Cup Sprint Saturday at Santa Anita Park.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Cajun Beat was given little respect by bettors, but the 3-year-old gelding left no doubt who the best sprinter in the country was Saturday. Shipping from Kentucky to Santa Anita, Cajun Beat scored a $47.60 upset with a dominating win in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Sprint.

Cajun Beat blazed six furlongs in 1:07.95 under jockey Cornelio Velasquez, winning by 2 1/4 lengths over Bluesthestandard. It was two lengths farther back to third-place finisher Shake You Down; Aldebaran finished fifth at 2-1, the third straight Bobby Frankel-trained favorite to finish off the board in a Breeders' Cup race.

While the win payoff was the second-highest in Sprint history, there was nothing phony about the victory. "We took a big gamble coming here," trainer Stephen Margolis said, "but he had been training so good, and his last race he ran such a big Beyer." That was the Grade 3 Kentucky Cup Sprint, in which Cajun Beat earned a 113 Beyer Speed Figure while scoring his first stakes win for owners Satish Sanan, Joseph Iracane, and his son John Iracane.

Sanan, who races under the name Padua Stables, won last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile with Vindication, who has been retired.