07/15/2005 11:00PM

What a Song earns an A-plus

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. - What a Song underwent a crash course in race tactics to remain unbeaten in Saturday's $104,500 at Hollywood Park.

What a Song took dirt in his face on the backstretch, circled two rivals on the turn, and fought past a tough Bashert to win by a neck. Sent off favored in the field of five, What a Song ($3.60) finished six furlongs in 1:09.55.

"He got an education out of this," winning trainer Bob Baffert said. "I like his style. He got a good test and it's nice to see. He's a good horse."

Ridden by Victor Espinoza, What a Song was third on the backstretch behind Bashert and 43-1 Blaze It, who fought through early fractions of 21.98 and 44.48 seconds. What a Song raced on the rail on the backstretch, but Espinoza pulled him outside the two pacesetters as the field reached the turn.

Blaze It faded first, leaving Bashert a half-length in front of What a Song at the eighth pole. Racing on the outside, What a Song took the lead in the final sixteenth.

"The best horse won," said Bill Currin, who trains and co-owns Bashert. "The longshot took it out of us."

Stevie Wonderboy, supplemented for $20,000 on Thursday, finished third, followed by Blaze It and Double Parked.

What a Song has won both his starts. He beat maidens by 3 1/4 lengths on June 18 in his debut. Owned by Bob and Beverly Lewis, What a Song, by Songandaprayer, was purchased for $1.9 million at the Barretts March sale of 2-year-olds in training. The colt has earned $89,700.

"Now everybody knows why he cost so much," Baffert said.