04/15/2007 11:00PM

Golden Balls pulls upset

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Golden Balls caught pacesetter Desert Code in the final stride to win the $108,300 La Puente Stakes at Santa Anita, pulling an upset in his U.S. debut.

Ridden by Brice Blanc, Golden Balls ($16.40) made up 7 1/2 lengths in the final quarter-mile to win by a nose, finishing a mile on turf in 1:34.61. for trainer Jim Cassidy. The victory was worth $64,980.

Vauquelin, who was third early, held that position at the wire in the field of seven 3-year-olds.

* Ballado's Thunder won her first stakes in the restricted $79,550 Santa Lucia Handicap at Santa Anita, benefiting from a perfect trip under jockey Richard Migliore.

Ballado's Thunder ($16) ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.41, winning by 3 1/4 lengths over Freakin Streakin. Kris's Sis, the 2-1 favorite in the field of eight fillies and mares, finished third. The race was restricted to horses who had not won a stakes at a mile or farther this year.

Ballado's Thunder has won 4 of 12 starts and $166,358 for owner Stan Fulton and trainer Rafael Becerra.