11/22/2007 12:00AM

Kettleoneup rides rail to victory

EmailLOUISVILLE, Ky. - Calvin Borel added to his magical year when guiding Kettleoneup to a last-to-first upset Thursday in the 92nd running of the Grade 2 Falls City Handicap at Churchill Downs.

Last of six for much of the 1 1/8-mile journey, Kettleoneup cut the corner in typical Borel fashion when turning for home, then surged past the even-money favorite, Panty Raid, with surprising ease. High Heels was up in the final strides to get second, 3 3/4 lengths behind the winner and a half-length ahead of Panty Raid, while Tessa Blue, the early leader and 7-5 second choice, faded to fourth, another four lengths back.

Kettleoneup, a 4-year-old Victory Gallop filly bred and owned by Tom Crouch, returned $17.60 after finishing in 1:50.28 over a fast track. The winner is based at the nearby Trackside training center with trainer Mike Tomlinson.

Borel said that when the field began to quicken and his filly was gaining without being asked, "I knew I had them where I wanted."

Tessa Blue set moderate fractions but never shook completely free from several chasers, including High Heels, who applied the initial pressure from the outside leaving the half-mile pole, and Panty Raid, who then quickly moved up the rail to challenge approaching the quarter pole. As those three tussled, Kettleoneup made her explosive run up the rail, and the issue was soon settled.

"This filly, as she gets older, she's just getting better and better," said Borel, whose victory aboard Street Sense in the Kentucky Derby earlier this year was the highlight of what has been easily the best season of a 25-year riding career. "She really was unbelievable today."

Kettleoneup now has won 6 of 17 starts, with the $199,055 winner's share from the $324,300 Falls City giving her a career bankroll of $600,338. Her previous biggest victory came in the Grade 3 Sixty Sails Handicap at Hawthorne in April.

After Tessa Blue, Delicate Dynamite and Jill Indy Pulpit rounded out the order of finish. Lampoon was an early scratch.

* Earlier Thursday, Jockey Rafael Mojica Jr. was transported to nearby Norton Audubon Hospital complaining of pain in his shoulder and lower back following a spill in the fourth race. Mojica, 25, went down when his mount, Midway Station, clipped heels and fell at the top of the stretch. Midway Station had to be euthanized on the track.