02/02/2008 12:00AM

Intangaroo stuns Santa Monica rivals


ARCADIA, Calif. - Intangaroo, at 26-1 the longest shot in a field of five, gave trainer Gary Sherlock and jockey Alonso Quinonez their first Grade 1 wins with an upset victory in Saturday's $250,000 Santa Monica Handicap at Santa Anita.

Making her stakes debut, Intangaroo ($55.80) rallied from last in the final quarter-mile to win the seven-furlong race by a nose over Society Hostess, who led for much of the final furlong. Overly Tempting, the early pacesetter, finished third.

Hystericalady, the 1-5 favorite, could only finish fourth.

Hystericalady was making her first start since finishing second in the Breeders' Cup Distaff at Monmouth Park last October. She was as close as second on the turn, but faded through the final quarter-mile, finishing 5 1/4 lengths behind Intangaroo.

As a result of Hystericalady finishing out of the first three, the show payoffs were massive. Intangaroo paid $32 to show, Society Hostess returned $18.20, and Overly Tempting paid $16.80.

Hystericalady attracted $308,670 of the $343,706 bet to show.

Intangaroo ran seven furlongs in 1:20.71. A 4-year-old filly by Orientate, Intangaroo has won 3 of 9 starts and $244,880. Owned by Tom Grether Farms, she beat maidens in her debut at Hollywood Park last June and won an allowance race here on Jan. 11.

The win was a delightful surprise to Sherlock.

"We were running for third," Sherlock said. "We figured if we could hit the board, it would make her worth a lot of money."

The race lacked defending champion Pussycat Doll, who was scratched on Saturday morning after developing a foot abscess, trainer Bob Baffert said.

The Santa Monica was originally scheduled for Jan. 27, but was postponed to Saturday after that program was canceled because the Santa Anita Cushion Track synthetic surface failed to drain following substantial rain.

La Habra: Passion takes first stakes

Passion remained unbeaten in 2008, and won the first stakes of her career, in the $113,350 La Habra Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.

Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Passion disputed the lead throughout the race at about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course and fought off a determined challenge from 6-5 favorite Ariege to win the Grade 3 race by a nose in 1:13.52.

Ariege was never far from the front, stalking Passion in fourth on the hillside. When the field of nine crossed on to the main track, Ariege closed ground on the inside of Passion. Ariege steadily drew closer to the leader through the final furlong, and just missed.

"I saw the other horse coming, but I still had a lot of horse," Bejarano said.

Sweet August Moon finished third, her best performance in a stakes.

Passion races for Susan Magnier, Derrick Smith, and Michael Tabor and is trained by Todd Pletcher. By Came Home, Passion has won 3 of 5 starts and $132,260.