11/23/2002 1:00AM

Hot Market gets back in the black


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - The frustration of Hot Market's troubled loss in the $250,000 California Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 2 was replaced on Saturday by a flawless performance in the $107,700 On Trust Handicap at Hollywood Park.

Of course, the first-place purse in the On Trust wasn't as lucrative as the Cal Cup, but the win gave Hot Market his first success in a stakes. The win also allowed trainer Craig Lewis to dream of richer stakes in coming months.

Hot Market reared at the start of the California Cup, losing all chance. The 4-year-old finished a well-beaten fifth.

"Yesterday is gone," Lewis said. "In my humble opinion, he would have won that day."

Lewis took comfort in Hot Market's performance in the On Trust, which was restricted to California-breds.

Ridden by Kent Desormeaux, Hot Market ($3.80) set fractions of 22.38 and 45.28 seconds and was never seriously threatened while maintaining a one-length lead. Hot Market passed six furlongs in 1:09.45 and seven furlongs in 1:21.82, completing the 7 1/2 furlongs in 1:28.27.

"He seemed like he was well within himself and was cruising on the pace," Lewis said. "We were the beneficiary of what appeared to be a lack of speed."

Grey Memo, fourth in the California Cup Classic, rallied from last to finish second. He was followed by Spinelessjellyfish, Affairintheforest, Bonus Pay Day, and Waingarth.

Hot Market has won 6 of 16 starts and $330,460 for owners John Harris and Per Antonsen. In his stakes debut this past summer, Hot Market finished second in the Grade 2 Pat O'Brien Handicap at Del Mar.

Lewis said the $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic, a race featuring California-breds and Florida-breds at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 25, is a long-term goal for Hot Market.