11/26/2001 1:00AM

Repent overcomes trouble in Kentucky Jockey Club


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Call it a harrowing experience, or call it a learning experience.

Whatever it was, the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes resulted in a difficult but well-earned victory Saturday for heavily favored Repent, who fought his way through one trouble spot after another to win the Grade 2 race by 1 1/4 lengths. He returned $3.60 to win.

"I don't have that much hair left," said Repent's mostly bald trainer, Ken McPeek.

Repent, owned by the Select Stable of Jerry and Feye Bach, was a close fifth down the backstretch in the $217,000 KJC Stakes.

Repent, under Tony D'Amico, was checked on the inside approaching the half-mile pole, and weaved in and out of heavy traffic before finally getting clear near the rail with 100 yards to go. Request for Parole finished second, a neck before High Star in a field of six 2-year-old colts.

Also on Saturday, Belterra, after trailing early in a field of five 2-year-old fillies, drew off to an impressive score in the KJC's sister race, the $215,200 Golden Rod Stakes, also a Grade 2 at 1 1/16 miles.

The 4 1/2-length victory kept the Carl Nafzger-trained Belterra unbeaten in three starts.

Belterra, ridden by Jon Court, returned $4.40 and ran the distance in 1:43.82. Take Charge Lady, the second-place finisher, was a very slight favorite, also sent away at 6-5. Lotta Rhythm was third.

Belterra is owned by Bob Manfuso.