04/24/2002 12:00AM

Line Rider rallies to victory


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Line Rider, a pacesetter for Johannesburg in Europe last year, closed from off the pace to win Wednesday's Harry Henson Stakes, the opening day feature of the Hollywood Park spring-summer meeting.

Sent off as the slight favorite, Line Rider ($8) finished 5 1/2 furlongs on turf in 1:02.97. Ridden by Mike Smith, Line Rider rallied four wide through the stretch to take the lead in the final 50 yards. Ecstatic and Mighty David finished in a dead heat for second in the field of 10 3-year-olds.

The Henson Stakes was Line Rider's first stakes win in 11 starts and his third start in the United States. By Danzig, Line Rider was bought privately over the winter by a partnership and is now trained by Tim Pinfield.

Last year in Europe, Line Rider started in such prestigious races as the Phoenix Stakes, Prix Morny and Middle Park Stakes, all at Group 1 level, but was unplaced in each.