04/27/2002 12:00AM

Suances upsets in S.F. Mile

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SAN MATEO, Calif. - Even though he was scheduled to face Decarchy and Sarafan, ranked first and second among turf males in Daily Racing Form, trainer Darrell Vienna was eager to run Suances in Saturday's Grade 2 San Francisco Breeders' Cup Mile at Bay Meadows.

"This is not a horse to duck challenges with," Vienna said explaining why he was entering the European Group 1 winner in northern California's highest graded race.

Suances, who returned $9.20 as the longest shot on the board, grabbed the lead immediately in the one-mile turf race as jockey David Flores slowed down the pace with a 24.96 opening quarter, and won the race by a length over favored Decarchy, who finished second in a blanket finish with The Tin Man and Sarafan. The winning time was 1:35.19.

Small fields such as this, with only four horses, often turn into a jockey's race. Flores had everything his way, and took advantage of it.

He knew he was going slowly early and loved his position.

"I was very happy," Flores said. "I was surprised nobody pushed me early, but as long as they don't push, I don't accelerate."

Mike Smith, who rode The Tin Man, expected to be on the lead.

"He acted bad in the gate and didn't get away running," Smith said of his mount. "He just wouldn't stand still in the gate. If he had broken running, I certainly would have been right there [on the lead], but I wasn't going to gun him and set it up for somebody else. For his first stakes, he ran a good race."

Suances had a comfortable lead, and he responded when Flores asked him, running the final quarter in 23.61 seconds.

"I could feel the pace was smooth and slow," Flores said. "When we hit the three-eighths pole, he got into the bridle. He responded so beautifully I was never worried.

"He could have gone another eighth, no problem. There was no way those horses would catch him as easy as he went early."

Kent Desormeaux aboard Decarchy, who had been rated the top turf male after winning his first two starts of 2002, thought things were going well for him, too.

"I thought everything went great until the winner didn't come back to us. The slower we went the better, as far as I was concerned because I was thinking they're not going to out-quicken my horse.

"The last quarter, we all set it down and were motoring, but I couldn't even get to the tail of the winner. That horse ran wild."

Suances, who won six of seven starts in Europe but missed all of 2001 with an injury to his right rear ankle, more than doubled his lifetime earnings to $213,720 while earning $110,000 for the victory.