10/21/2002 12:00AM

Santa Anita: Only the Best never headed


ARCADIA, Calif. - Only the Best ($10.20) burst to the front and was long gone in the $96,900 Sunny Slope Stakes. The only California-bred in the field of nine 2-year-olds, Only the Best won the six-furlong stakes by two lengths over Domestic Dispute.

Pat Valenzuela rode Only the Best, whose 21.16-second opening quarter-mile was the second-fastest of the meet. Only the Best had a seven-length lead after the first quarter, led by 4 1/2 lengths after a half in 43.84, and finished in 1:09.12.