07/31/2005 12:00AM

Greg's Gold wins Bing Crosby

Greg's Gold pulls an upset in Sunday's $300,000 Bing Crosby Handicap with a 1 1/4 length victory.

DEL MAR, Calif. - Greg's Gold, who had never won a stakes or raced in a graded stakes, pulled an upset in Sunday's $300,000 at Del Mar.

Greg's Gold ($19) won the Grade 1 Crosby by 1 1-4 lengths over Kentucky invader Battle Won, who finished two lengths in front of 18-1 Taste of Paradise.

Pico Central, a top sprinter from 2004, finished last of nine as the 5-2 favorite in his first start since March.

Greg's Gold had an ideal trip under jockey David Flores. Fifth on the backstretch, Greg's Gold stalked the pace of Areyoutalkintome and Battle Won through early fractions of 21.46 and 43.65 seconds. Staying on the rail, Flores guided Greg's Gold into contention in early stretch and wore down Battle Won.

"I've been riding this horse and I know him," Flores said. "I knew if I could get a good spot I could count on his late acceleration."

Greg's Gold finished six furlongs in 1:08.04.

"I expected them to run below 8," trainer David Hofmans said. "I thought these were some fast horses."

Hofmans had hoped Greg's Gold could "be right there" if the 4-year-old gelding got a stalking trip.

A California-bred, Greg's Gold gave owner Bill Boswell his first win in a Grade 1. The Bing Crosby was Hofmans's biggest win of the year.

"I was just tickled," Hofmans said.

Trainer Paulo Lobo was at a loss to explain Pico Central's performance. "He ran one furlong and was empty," he said.