03/08/2004 1:00AM

Pico Central upsets San Carlos

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ARCADIA, Calif. - Dismissed at 43-1, Pico Central pulled a shocking upset in Sunday's $150,000 , leading throughout to win by two lengths.

The Grade 2 San Carlos marked the U.S. stakes debut for Pico Central, 5, a two-time Group 1 winner in Brazil in 2002 and 2003. The race marked the first Santa Anita stakes win for trainer Paulo Lobo, who is best known as the trainer of Farda Amiga, the champion 3-year-old filly of 2002.

Pico Central ($88.40) finished seven furlongs in 1:21.16 after setting early fractions of 22.24 and 44.06 seconds. Publication closed from last in the final three furlongs to finish second, two lengths ahead of Pohave. Kela finished fourth, followed by Eye of the Tiger, Casas Caballo, Bluesthestandard (the 8-5 favorite), Captain Squire, Taste of Paradise and Marino Marino.

Bluesthestandard stalked the leaders to early stretch, but did not rally. "He just didn't go on," trainer Ted H. West said.

Pico Central is unbeaten in two starts in the U.S. He was promoted from second to first in an optional claimer here on Jan. 25.

"I thought seven would be better than 6 1/2 furlongs," Lobo said. "He won between five furlongs and a mile in Brazil. He settles and he can go.

Owned by Christina Garlipp, Pico Central was transferred to Lobo's stable last August. A horse by Spend a Buck, Pico Central has won 6 of 10 starts and $170,145.