04/13/2007 11:00PM

Golden Balls scores upset in U.S. debut


ARCADIA, Calif. - Golden Balls caught pacesetter Desert Code in the final stride to win Saturday's $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. The victory was worth $64,980 to a partnership and trainer Jim Cassidy.

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

Desert Code, the winner of the Grade 3 Baldwin Stakes here last month, led through a moderate pace of 23.60 and 47.08 seconds. Desert Code led by 1 1/2 lengths with a furlong remaining and was just tagged on the line.

Golden Balls has won 3 of 8 starts and $89,852. In England last year, he won two minor races.