12/10/2005 12:00AM

Trotamondo captures Native Diver


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - The major stakes for the handicap division at Santa Anita this winter may have a South American flavor.

Trotamondo, who won the 2004 Chilean Triple Crown, is bound for the $300,000 San Antonio Handicap at Santa Anita on Feb. 5 after winning his U.S. stakes debut in Saturday's $100,000 at Hollywood Park.

Trotamondo ($5.60) rallied from last in the field of 10 to finish a half-length in front of Bully Hayes. Spellbinder, part of a quick early pace of 22.50 and 46.02 seconds with Coronado's Pride, finished third.

Trotamondo finished 1 1-8 miles in 1:49.92.

Ridden by Garrett Gomez, Trotamondo had to fight through traffic in the final half-mile to win the Grade 3 Native Diver Handicap. He was fourth at the eighth pole, trailining Spellbinder by two lengths.

"He had a lot of work to do," trainer Laura de Seroux said. "This is a good horse. He's got a lot of acceleration. We anticipated the pace that we got."

Owned by a partnership, Trotamondo, 4, has won 6 of 12 starts and $229,343. The Native Diver was Trotamondo's second start in this country, following a runner-up finish in an allowance race on Nov. 9.