12/26/2006 12:00AM

Latent Heat takes Malibu


ARCADIA, Calif. – Latent Heat received a perfect stalking trip from jockey Edgar Prado, then spurted clear down the stretch to score a two-length victory in the Grade 1, $250,000 Malibu Stakes on Tuesday’s opening-day card at Santa Anita.

A crowd of 32,931 turned out for the Malibu, which drew 12 3-year-olds, including Brother Derek. But Brother Derek, the 2-1 favorite, made no impact down the stretch while finishing seventh.

Latent Heat sat third while just outside Sailors Sunset and Da Stoops through fractions of 22.33 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 45.08 seconds for a half-mile. Da Stoops was narrowly in front passing the furlong marker in 1:09.06, but then Latent Heat was cut loose. He completed seven furlongs on the fast main track in 1:21.39.

“He broke good, and I let the speed inside go,” Prado said. “We had a beautiful trip.”

Spring At Last outfinished Midnight Lute by a head for second. Da Stoops faded to fourth, and Sailors Sunset was sixth. Arson Squad, whom jockey Alex Solis chose over Brother Derek, was never a factor and finished eighth.

“He was very sluggish today. He was not himself,” Solis said.

Latent Heat, a son of Maria’s Mon who was bred and is owned by Prince Khalid Abdullah’s Juddmonte Farms, has now won five times in nine starts. His trainer, Bobby Frankel, said he was unsure whether he would try two turns next with Latent Heat, or keep him around one turn.

* Kip Deville came through along the inside and held off a pack of challengers through the final furlong to take the Grade 3, $114,300 Sir Beaufort Stakes for 3-year-old grass runners.

Kip Deville ($16.20) finished one length in front of Awesome Gem, who nosed out Zann for second place. Porto Santo, the 5-2 favorite, was another nose back in fourth.

Richard Migliore rode Kip Deville for trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. He completed one mile on firm turf in 1:36.12.

“I’m happy to be here, even happier to win,” said Migliore, who was participating in his first opening day at Santa Anita.

Kip Deville most recently had finished sixth behind Showing Up in the Hollywood Derby. The victory was his sixth in 14 starts. He is owned by a partnership that includes IEAH Stables, Dan Borislow, and Sanford Robbins.

A half-hour earlier, Pirates Deputy closed from last to first to capture the $141,375 California Breeders’ Champion Stakes for 2-year-old males, giving jockey Garrett Gomez his fourth winner through the first six races on the card.

Pirates Deputy ($6) roared down the center of the track, caught front-running Complexity at the sixteenth pole, and held off late-running Tap It Light to win by one length. Tap It Light finished three-quarters of a length in front of Complexity, who tired to finish third.

The race shape helped Pirates Deputy. Something Sonic, Complexity, and Sarand Star set fractions of 21.82 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 44.30 for a half-mile, which set things up for Pirates Deputy, who completed seven furlongs on the fast main track in 1:23.66.

Bob Baffert trains Pirates Deputy, a gelding, who was second in the Delta Jackpot in his previous start. He is owned by Terry Lanni and Bernie Schiappa.