09/28/2002 12:00AM

Kazzia wires Flower Bowl field


ELMONT, N.Y. - Kazzia transferred her brilliant European form to North America on Saturday by taking the field gate to wire under Jorge Chavez to win Saturday's Grade 1, $750,000 by a neck at Belmont Park.

Fellow European shipper Turtle Bow rallied late, but fell a neck short at the wire as jockey Christophe Soumillon dropped his whip in mid-stretch. It was 1 1/4 lengths back to Mot Juste in third. Starine, Sunstone, even-money favorite England's Legend, and Tarfshi completed the order of finish.

As expected, defending female turf champion Banks Hill was scratched because of the soft turf course. Banks Hill will be flown to California on Wednesday to run in next Saturday's Grade 1, $500,000 Yellow Ribbon at Santa Anita. Surya, one of two fillies trained by Bobby Frankel, was also scratched, and she will run in Friday's WinStar Galaxy at Keeneland.

It was the fifth victory in six career starts for Kazzia, a 3-year-old German-bred filly owned by Godolphin Racing. She was coming off her only loss, a fourth in last month's Yorkshire Oaks. The victory will probably prompt Godolphin to put up the $90,000 supplemental fee to run Kazzia in next month's $1 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Arlington Park.

"I think that was the plan all along; if she ran well she'd be supplemented," said Tom Albertrani, the New York-based assistant for Godolphin.

According to trainer Francois Rohaut, Turtle Bow will also likely be supplemented to the Filly and Mare Turf for $90,000.

"She ran a very good race," Rohaut said. "Christophe rode a magnificent race. She's very courageous; everything went well today. We'll think about the [Breeders' Cup]. We'll see how she recovers. She'll stay here a few days and we'll decide if we want to run or not."

Albertani decided he wanted Kazzia to be on the lead, but was concerned about going head and head with England's Legend. Kazzia was drawn inside of England's Legend, so Albertrani felt that would play to Kazzia's advantage and told Chavez as much.

"I said if you go they might take back, so just see how you go into the first turn," Albertrani said. "Don't take back, maybe they'll come off of you and you just nurse her along."

Kazzia did beat England's Legend into the first turn and was able to set fractions of 24.35 seconds, 49.77, 1:14.88, 1:39.89 and covered the 1 1/4 miles in 2:05.22 over the soft turf. She returned $8.10 as the second choice.

After contesting the pace for one mile, England's Legend backed up and was beaten nine lengths.

"I was flat leaving the gate and she never really got into the race," Bailey said. "She felt fine, she was never aggressive."