11/02/2002 1:00AM

'Sailin' finds a second wind


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Heavily favored Sailinwithcaptain ($2.60) was passed in the upper stretch by Timely Jeff but came back on to win the $80,500 Don B Stakes by a neck at Bay Meadows on Saturday, covering six furlongs in 1:11.01.

Sailinwithcaptain, now 2 for 2 in his career for trainer Bob Baffert and owner Mike Pegram, broke alertly and made the lead on his own after Timely Jeff - who ran a 43.80-second opening half-mile in his debut in the Ron and Jessman Cloud Memorial on Oct. 5 at Fresno - did not break well.

Sailinwithcaptain, with Russell Baze aboard, held the lead by a head over One Bad Storm through a 22.05-second opening quarter, and by a head over Timely Jeff through a 44.65 half.

"I could have been on a lonely lead if I wanted, but I didn't want to send him," Baze said.

Timely Jeff stuck his head in front at the top of the stretch, and the two battled all the way to the wire with Sailinwithcaptain slowly getting the better of his rival.

"I'm hoping this wasn't his best race," Baze said. "He kept trying, but he didn't finish like a horse, hopefully of that caliber, should. I wasn't worried about the horse next to me, but I thought surely somebody would be coming."

Timely Jeff's trainer, Jeff Bonde, said the break "cost me the race. My horse tried, but the other horse did everything right and got the job done."

Sailinwithcaptain created a minus show pool of $19,746 in the five-horse field. He earned $44,500, lifting his career earnings to $69,700.