11/13/2004 12:00AM

Happy homecoming

Skip Smith
Supah Blitz, under Jerry Bailey, returns from California to capture the Carl G. Rose as the 2-5 favorite.

MIAMI - Supah Blitz made a popular and triumphant return home on Saturday, rallying to a hard-fought one-length victory over the pacesetting Hear No Evil in the $200,000 at Calder.

The 1 1/8-mile Carl G. Rose was the highlight of the eight statebred stakes races decided on the Florida Million Day card, which drew 10,323, a record for the event. The combined handle of over $7.6 million was also a record.

Supah Blitz had been stabled here since his debut as a 2-year-old in 2002 until he was sold privately and transferred to trainer Doug O'Neill's barn in Southern California last summer. A 4-year-old son of Mecke, Supah Blitz captured the Grade 2 Del Mar Breeders' Cup in his first start for his new connections. As a result of that victory and a subsequent third-place finish in the Grade 2 Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap, he was sent off the 2-5 favorite in the Carl G. Rose.

The race did not unfold as expected with Hear No Evil allowed to set a slow and uncontested pace despite the presence of speedsters Bob's Proud Moment and Keep Cool in the lineup. With jockey Jerry Bailey aboard for the first time, Supah Blitz settled five to six lengths off the lead, angled four wide around the second turn, then ultimately wore down Hear No Evil before gradually edging clear at the end.

Supah Blitz covered the distance in 1:52.51 over the fast track and paid $2.80.

"We were a little concerned when he got further back than expected and the pace was slow. I'd have thought with a 49-second half-mile he'd be up front," said O'Neill. "But he's a classy horse and Jerry is a classy rider so we still had a lot of confidence he would win. Jerry said afterwards that he had the leader measured all the way."

O'Neill said if all goes well that he would bring Supah Blitz back to south Florida again for the $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 29.