02/05/2004 12:00AM

Horse DQ'd then put back up


ALBANY, Calif. - Here Comes Baby finished first in Thursday's first race at Golden Gate Fields, was disqualified to second, but still ended up a winner when the horse who had been put up to first place also was disqualified.

Here Comes Baby drifted in near the eighth pole, taking the path of Pronto One in a $12,500 claimer at six furlongs. Here Comes Baby won a three-way photo over Pronto One and Talara. The margin between each was a nose.

After Here Comes Baby was disqualified from first to second behind Pronto One, stewards examined a second incident in which Pronto One drifted out and crowded Talara.

That prompted a disqualification of Pronto One behind original third-place finisher Talara. As a result, Here Comes Baby was moved back up to first with Talara second and Pronto One dropped to third.

Both decisions by the stewards were unanimous.

"You take the incidents as they happen," steward Darrel McHargue said, explaining the order of the disqualifications.

Asked if the incident involving Pronto One and Talara was a result of the first foul, McHargue said, "I'm sure we'll be asked that. The first incident was clear. In the second incident, had it been a clear case of Pronto One altering course off Here Comes Baby's heels and bothering Talara, you'd blame it all on Here Comes Baby.

"But when Pronto One came out, he had a clear path but continued out and bumped Talara and took him off his path."