03/13/2003 1:00AM

'Ship' comes in for trainer

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ARCADIA, Calif. - Rockin the Ship on Thursday won the first 2-year-old race of the year at Santa Anita, giving trainer Adam Kitchingman his first career winner.

Rockin the Ship ($9) ran two furlongs in 21.58 seconds. Ridden by Gary Boag for Galley Farm, Rockin the Ship finished 1 1/4 lengths in front of Gambling Rent, who broke poorly. Toss Both Ways finished third in the field of 10 California-bred 2-year-olds.

Rockin the Ship had five recorded workouts before Thursday's race - three at the Laurel Brown Training Center near Salt Lake City, one at Fairplex Park, and one at Santa Anita.

Kitchingman, 28, a native of Australia, has a two-horse stable. He trained a small stable a few years ago and has resumed training in recent months while continuing to work as an exercise rider. "I'm looking to claim more horses," he said. "It's a slow process."

Rockin the Ship is entered for the Barretts May sale of 2-year-olds in training. By Western Fame, he was purchased last fall for $25,000 at the Barretts October yearling sale.

Juvenile races at the Santa Anita winter-spring meet are run over only two furlongs. Races at 4 1/2 furlongs and beyond will begin during the Hollywood Park spring-summer meeting.