10/22/2004 11:00PM

Habaneros wins Carleton Burke


ARCADIA, Calif. - Habaneros, a former claimer making his stakes debut, led throughout Saturday's $100,000 Carleton Burke Handicap at Santa Anita, pulling an upset over fellow 14-1 longshot Pellegrino.

Ridden by David Flores, Habaneros ($30.20) set slow fractions of 25.26 and 49.30 seconds, led by as many as 1 1-2 lengths on the backstretch and held on by a neck. Habaneros finished 1 1-2 miles on turf in 2:26.91. Pellegrino closed from seventh in the field of eight to finish a neck in front of 29-1 Gallant.

The $1 trifecta on the three outsiders returned $2,064.70. Puerto Banus, the winner of the Grade 2 San Luis Obispo Handicap in February, finished fourth. Continously, the 6-5 favorite, finished seventh.

Habaneros, a 5-yar-old gelding, has won 4 of 11 starts and $174,400.

Habaneros races for John Bell and is trained by his nephew, Ray Bell. Habaneros has won 3 of his last 4 starts, all as a longshot. He was sent off at 26-1 when he won a $25,000 claimer on dirt at Del Mar in July and followed with a 24-1 upset in a first-condition allowance race on dirt on Aug. 29. Habaneros finished second in a starter allowance on turf on Oct. 11, as a prep to the Grade 3 Burke.

*Seattles Best Joe won the $86,025 Sunny Slope Stakes for 2-year-olds, finishing a length in front of even-money favorite Chips Are Down. Senor Fango finished third, 10 lengths behind Chips Are Down.

Seattles Best Joe ($10) finished six furlongs in 1:09.82. He rallied from last in a field of six to score his third stakes win, and first outside of Emerald Downs in Washington.