02/23/2006 1:00AM

Spanish Chestnut ships in

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Spanish Chestnut, who in his last race carved out the pace in last May's Kentucky Derby, makes a surprise invasion for Saturday's $40,000 Coyote Handicap at Turf Paradise. Eight 4-year-olds and up are entered in the six-furlong stakes, a steppingstone to the $75,000 Phoenix Gold Cup on March 18.

, owned by Michael Tabor and trained by Patrick Biancone, finished first or second in his first five career starts, including a victory in the Grade 2 San Rafael at Santa Anita more than 13 months ago. He continued on the Derby trail, finishing third behind 2-year-old champion Declan's Moon in the Grade 2 Santa Catalina. But he finished sixth in the Grade 2 Lane's End at Turfway, sixth in the Grade 1 Blue Grass at Keeneland, and set a suicidal pace in the Kentucky Derby before fading to finish 16th of 20.

Spanish Chestnut has worked in dazzling fashion for his return. Tony Farina comes in from Southern California for the ride at high weight of 123 pounds.

is one of the top sprinters on the grounds and carries second high weight of 121 pounds for owners Keith and Kelly Grinolds. He won the Last Don B and Answer Do here late last year, then dueled and faltered a bit to be third behind the very impressive Diligent Prospect in the Jan. 30 Swift Stakes here. Glenn Corbett has the call for trainer Don Mills.

blossomed last summer and fall for owner Dennis Weir and trainer Dan Morgan. He was second in a stakes at Del Mar, and in the fall here won the Caballos del Sol and Saguaro stakes, both sprints. He hasn't run since the Oct. 29 Saguaro but has worked in super fashion - going six furlongs in 1:10 here on Feb. 12 - and is certainly scary if ready. Miguel Hernandez rides at 120 pounds.

Two others of interest are Gold Jigger and College Graduate. Gold Jigger invades from Bay Meadows off a dazzling victory over claimers. He was claimed that day by top trainer Troy Bainum, who wins 33 percent first off a claim, and shows a bullet five-furlong work since. College Graduate comes off a 12 1/2-length romp routing over optional claimers here Jan. 29 that earned him a 95 Beyer. He may be turning the corner for trainer Keith Bennett.