10/31/2005 1:00AM

This time, Gotaghostofachance finds room


Gotaghostofachance couldn't quite escape traffic problems in time to catch Captain Squire in the Grade 1 Ancient Title Handicap at Santa Anita, but managed to extricate himself from a similar situation to post a half-length victory over Captain Squire in the Grade 3, $250,000 , the opening race on Saturday's Breeders' Cup card at Belmont Park.

Gotaghostofachance finished fourth, beaten 1 1/2 lengths, after having to wait for clearance in the stretch run of the Ancient Title. The same scenario developed as the field began to bunch up near the eighth pole of the seven-furlong Sport Page. At that point, Captain Squire overtook the tiring Voodoo to assume command, with Gotaghostofachance again pinned in between horses looking for room to unleash his final surge. Jockey Jon Court was finally able to get Gotaghostofachance in the clear after angling outside rivals near midstretch, and they ran down Captain Squire in the closing strides.

Wild Tale rallied widest of all to finish third, a length in front of the 2-1 favorite Silver Wagon, who was forced to steady while awaiting room in early stretch and then again behind the leaders approaching the wire.

Gotaghostofachance, a 4-year-old son of Silver Ghost, is owned by Ross McLeod and Charles Ming and is trained by Roger Stein. He paid $12.20 after covering the distance in 1:23.16 over a fast track.

"We had to make some alterations but we got a clear run," said Court. "I knew he could make up ground when he got clear, and once we got outside of Captain Squire he really rallied."

The victory was the first stakes win in New York for Court.