03/03/2002 12:00AM

Snow Ridge victorious in San Carlos


ARCADIA, Calif. - With three stakes wins at the current Santa Anita meeting, Snow Ridge may be headed to Kentucky to expand his reputation as a top sprinter.

On Sunday, Snow Ridge won his first Grade 1 in the $150,000 at Santa Anita. Previously at this meeting, Snow Ridge won the El Conejo Handicap over 5 1-2 furlongs and the Palos Verdes Handicap over six furlongs.

After the San Carlos, trainer D. Wayne Lukas said Snow Ridge would be pointed for the Commonwealth Breeders' Cup Stakes at Keeneland on April 14 and the Churchill Downs Handicap on May 4. He did not rule out a start in the Potrero Grande Breeders' Cup Handicap at Santa Anita on March 30, where Snow Ridge would try for an unprecedented sweep of the four open stakes of the meeting.

"I thought this was an easy race," Lukas said. "I do want to run him at Keeneland."

In the San Carlos, Snow Ridge was an overwhelming favorite. Ridden by Mike Smith, he led throughout, setting modest fractions of 23.12 and 45.46 seconds, before drawing off to win by 1 1-2 lengths over Alyzig.

Snow Ridge ($3.20) finished seven furlongs in 1:22.02. Owned by Overbrook Farm, Snow Ridge has won half of his 18 starts and $557,699.

"We were logically the speed of the race," Lukas said. "I like the way he relaxed in the first half-mile. I don't think he has to be looked on as only a six-furlong horse.

"It may give us a dimension to get to the Met Mile," Lukas said of the one-mile race at Belmont Park on May 27. "Had he grabbed the bit and taken off in 22 or 44 (seconds) then I don't think he had the dimension."

Alyzig was making his first start on dirt in the San Carlos, following a career in France that included a second in a listed stakes. Alyzig finished a length in front of Grey Memo, who was followed by Stormy Jack, Ceeband, and Hasty Kris.