06/30/2003 12:00AM

Just Wonder rallies to take Cinema


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Hours after arriving from a riding assignment in Japan, jockey Kent Desormeaux guided Just Wonder from last to first for a decisive win in Sunday's $184,550 Cinema Breeders' Cup Handicap at Hollywood Park.

With a wide rally on the turn, Just Wonder circled his seven 3-year-old rivals, took the lead in early stretch and won by three-quarters of a length over Bis Repetitas. The second choice in the betting, Just Wonder ($8.80) finished 1 1-8 miles on turf in 1:47.41.

Slew City Citadel, who led or disputed the pace to early stretch, held third, followed by Private Chef (the 6-5 favorite), Devote, Royal Place, Helms Deep and Ender's Shadow.

Private Chef was beaten for the first time in his three-race career. The winner of the Will Rogers Stakes on May 25, Private Chef was in traffic in early stretch and was not a factor in deep stretch.

Just Wonder races for a partnership and is trained by Laura de Seroux. An English-bred colt, by Hernando, who raced in France last year, Just Wonder has won 3 of 5 starts since arriving last winter, including the Ascot Handicap at Bay Meadows on May 10.

Desormeaux said he has returned to California on a full-time basis with the exception of the week of July 8-13 when he has riding assignments in Japan.