04/07/2008 12:00AM

Mighty Bodacious upsets Wildcat Handicap


Mighty Bodacious hadn't won since 2006, but he picked a good day to turn back the clock, posting a 20-1 upset in Sunday's $31,300 Wildcat Handicap at Turf Paradise.

Owned and trained by Dana Vannorsdel, Mighty Bodacious bided his time at the back of the field in 1 3/8-mile turf test, steadily advanced with a wide run, and doggedly ran down the leaders to win by a half-length under Ry Eikleberry. Chestertown Slew, the 9-5 favorite, had stalked the pace and surged to a clear lead in midstretch but couldn't fend off the winner. He was 2 3/4 lengths ahead of Candlestick Park who was third in the field of 10. Defending champ Geririg was never a factor, finishing seventh.

Mighty Bodacious, a 7-year-old gelding who finished third in this race last year, ran the distance in 2:14.52 and paid $42. The winner's share of $18,780 pushes his career record to 5 wins from 28 starts for $62,060. The Wildcat is the customary prep for the $50,000 Hasta La Vista Handicap, the traditional closing-day event at 1 7/8 miles on the turf, which will be run May 4.