02/05/2005 12:00AM

Going Wild wires 'em in Sham

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Horsephotos
Going Wild (center) holds on for a one-length victory in the $100,000 Sham Stakes.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Going Wild made the successful transition from sprinter to router with a front-running win in Saturday's $102,300 at Santa Anita.

The victory gave owners Bob and Beverly Lewis and trainer D. Wayne Lukas a colt to follow in the major Triple Crown preps in coming months.

Ridden by Victor Espinoza, Going Wild ($12.20) led throughout the Sham Stakes, winning by a length. He finished 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.18.

Papi Chullo, who was as low as 2-1 in the early betting, finished second. He went sent off at 8-1. Giacomo, second in the Hollywood Futurity in December, finished third in the field of nine as the 7-5 favorite.

Going Wild was sent to the front in the opening furlong, setting fractions of 23.03 and 46.82 seconds. He led by a length on the backstretch, a margin that was whittled to a half-length as Uncle Denny drew closer.

Racing on the rail, Going Wild pulled away on the final turn and led by 1 1/2 lengths in midstretch. He was fully extended to the finish to hold off Papi Chullo, who rallied along the rail, and Giacomo, who was wide throughout.

"I knew that I had enough horse, and I had confidence in him," Espinoza said.

Going Wild, who is by Golden Missile, has won 3 of 6 starts and $171,040. Going Wild is perfect in three starts at this meeting, having won a maiden race on Dec. 26 and the San Miguel Stakes at six furlongs on Jan. 17.

"It's great to get a mile and an eighth under him this early in the year," Lukas said.