10/04/2002 11:00PM

Kalookan Queen conquers all comers


ARCADIA, Calif. - Kalookan Queen might want to make a habit of racing against males. For the second time in as many starts this year, Kalookan Queen beat the boys, scoring a mild upset on Saturday in the Grade 1, $207,875 at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting.

Her victory came at the direct expense of Swept Overboard, the race's defending champion, who could only manage to finish fourth in his first start since taking the Metropolitan Handicap in May.

Kalookan Queen, starting from outside post in the field of six, moved three wide on the turn to engage pacesetters Rio Oro and Explicit, who set blazing fractions of 21.08 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 43.27 for the half. Kalookan Queen took over just inside the furlong pole, and held off belated bids from Crafty C.T. and then Mellow Fellow. She beat Crafty C.T. by a half-length, with Mellow Fellow another 1 1/2 lengths back in third. Swept Overboard was beaten by 3 3/4 lengths.

Kalookan Queen ($11) covered six furlongs on an extremely fast track in 1:08.26. She became the first mare to win this race since Track Gal in 1995. She beat males in Santa Anita's Potrero Grande Handicap in March.

Bruce Headley, Kalookan Queen's trainer, won the Ancient Title for the third time. He also won with Lakota Brave in 1996, and Kona Gold in 2000. As he had stated before the race, Headley reiterated he will not run Kalookan Queen back in the Breeders' Cup Sprint, believing the three-week gap is too short. He will, however, bring Kona Gold up to the race on works, which is why the 2000 sprint champ was kept out of the Ancient Title.

"It's tough to come back in 21 days," Headley said. "She just ran her guts out. I think that's what happened to Kona last year. He got beat with high weight, and it knocked him out for the Breeders' Cup."

Kalookan Queen, a 6-year-old mare by Lost Code, has now won 11 times in 24 starts - including 7 for 12 at Santa Anita - for owner Louis Asistio. Saturday's winnings of $125,625 brought her career total past the $1-million mark.

Craig Dollase, the trainer of Swept Overboard, said his horse "got a little tired," but still likely would go on to the Breeders' Cup Sprint.

"Hopefully he'll benefit from this and move forward," Dollase said. "With all the pace, I thought it would set up for him, but he just flattened out a little."

Norfolk: Baffert salvages something

ARCADIA, Calif. - After watching Truckle Feature lose the Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland, and Icecoldbeeratreds falter in the final yards of the Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park, trainer Bob Baffert felt the collar tightening. "I was thinking doughnut," he said.

Instead, he got a box of fresh, hot Krispy Kremes. The day turned around late Saturday for Baffert, when his colts Kafwain and Bull Market ran one-two in the Grade 2, $200,000 .

Bull Market did all the dirty work, cutting out a hot pace with the longshot Royal Siphon, but Kafwain got the spoils, outnodding his stablemate after a stretch-long drive to win by a nose. Listen Indy was another length back in third.

Kafwain ($5.80) began a steady, sustained rally on the turn, and at the top of the stretch he loomed up four paths wide to engage Bull Market. But Bull Market would not go away. He and Kafwain traded volleys in the final furlong, with Kafwain prevailing in the final yards.

"They always work together," Baffert said. "When they saw each other, they probably said, 'Hey.' "

Kafwain covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.75. He has now won three times in six starts.

Baffert said both Kafwain and Bull Market would go on to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Arlington Park.