06/23/2001 12:00AM

Swept Overboard captures Kerlan Memorial

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Swept Overboard closed from last of six to win Saturday's $75,480 Robert K. Kerlan Memorial Handicap at Hollywood Park, a prep to more valueable sprints at Del Mar next month.

Ridden by Corey Nakatani, Swept Overboard ($3.80) rallied wide in early stretch and overcame traffic trouble before finding a clear path in the middle of the track. In the final sixteenth, Swept Overboard accelerated quickly to take the lead. A 4-year-old, Swept Overboard won by 2 1-2 lengths, finishing 5 1-2 furlongs on turf in 1:01.53.

"I was pretty confident with this horse," Nakatani said. "I know he has a big turn of foot."

King Slayer finished second, a neck in front of Lake William, who was followed by Gibson County, Impressive Grades and McCordnskuba. Gibson County set the pace through fractions of 21.61 and 43.90 seconds.

The Kerlan Handicap was Swept Overboard's first stakes win for Paul Reddam and trainer Craig Dollase. Purchased for $700,000 last July, Swept Overboard will be pointed for the $200,000 Bing Crosby Breeders' Cup Handicap at Del Mar on July 22, a race expected to include Kona Gold, the champion sprinter

of 2000.