11/11/2001 1:00AM

Lonesome Dude victorious in Steinlen


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Two years later than anticipated, Lonesome Dude has put together the sort of campaign that owners David and Holly Wilson and trainer Vladimir Cerin expected when he was bought from Europe in the summer of 1999.

On Sunday at Hollywood Park, Lonesome Dude won his second minor stakes of the year in the $73,500 Steinlen Handicap, outfinishing Kudos by three-quarters of a length. Ridden by Brice Blanc, Lonesome Dude ($18.20) ran 1 1-16 miles on turf in 1:40.61.

Lonesome Dude was fourth early, but had moved up to second on the final turn, stalking the leades along the rail. Blanc guided him off the rail entering the stretch and caught the frontrunning Purely Cozzene in the final furlong.

Kudos and Agol Lack ran well late, but could not get to the winner.

Purely Cozzene finished fourth, followed by Fighting Falcon (the 2-1 favorite), Madraar, Winning Fever and Penamacor.

Lonesome Dude won the Live the Dream Handicap at Del Mar on Sept. 5, his first stakes win since arriving in this country. In 1999 and 2000 he made two starts, including an 11th in the Atto Mile at Woodbine in 1999.

"I'm glad this is happening now," Cerin said. "He's had a handful of little problems. He was injured on the plane coming back from the Atto Mile.

He had quarter cracks and he was injured in his stall."

Lonesome Dude was ignored in the betting because of his last-place finish of seven in the Grade 2 Oak Tree Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita on Oct. 7, a race won by eventual Breeders' Cup Mile winner Val Royal. Near the lead to the final turn, he faded in the stretch, a result that Cerin blamed on himself.

"If they do what I tell them to do, I can't blame then," he said. "We stayed close to the pace."