12/10/2005 1:00AM

Rolling Sea a 28-1 Hawthorne victor


The jockey Miguel Mena, 19, had never won a race worth more than $40,000, and his sense of elation when he crossed the wire first Saturday in the Pat Whitworth Illinois Debutante lasted about two minutes. By the time Mena came back to unsaddle Rolling Sea, his number was blinking: The connections of the second- and third-place finishers had lodged objections.

"No change," chimed in veteran horsemen Wayne Catalano, on his way to saddle a horse for the next race.

And voila, the lights stopped blinking. Mena, strangely serene for a young man in his position, remounted, and Rolling Sea went into the winner's circle for her picture.

This is the seventh decade that horses have been doing that for trainer Richard Hazelton. Hazelton, 75, had two horses in the $100,000 Debutante, which was for Illinois-bred 2-year-old fillies, but he worried that Lovely Love, the 7-2 co-second choice, was distance-challenged, and he had watched Rolling Sea, a $25,000 maiden-claiming winner in her most recent start, begin blossoming in recent weeks. Rolling Sea was 28-1 Saturday.

"She was training great," Hazelton said. "But I thought they were going to take us down."

Rolling Sea ($58) raced second to last as Flama Del Sol and Trick of the South, followed closely by heavily favored Lampoon, carved out a fast half-mile in 46.89 seconds. The pace was too hot, and only Lampoon stuck around, but she was tackled by Rolling Sea at the top of the stretch, with Cause She's Crafty swinging out for her run at the eighth pole. It was tight there between her and Rolling Sea, and that was the hot spot in the objection, but the call went in favor of Rolling Sea, who had held on by a neck over Cause She's Crafty, with Lampoon third.

Rolling Sea, bred and owned by the Asiel Stable of Richard and Gail Radke, was timed in 1:45.08 for 1 1/16 miles.