04/27/2007 11:00PM

Wiggins romps in Milwaukee Avenue repeat


STICKNEY, Ill. - Wiggins is 7 and has raced since the summer of his 2-year-old season, but he may never have run better than he did on Saturday at Hawthorne, winning the $102,375 Milwaukee Avenue Handicap by 10 1/4 lengths.

"I just kept him close to the pace, and he did the rest," said jockey Jerry LaSala, who rode Wiggins for the first time. "He's really classy."

Wiggins, owned by William Pacella and Joe Rizza, won last year's Milwaukee Avenue by four lengths, but this was a more powerful performance.

LaSala noted that speed had held well in races before the Milwaukee Avenue, and Tenpointfive, who wound up on the lead Saturday, had upset Wiggins here last fall when he wired the High Alexander Handicap. So Wiggins stuck close to Tenpointfive, though the half-mile time of 47.65 seconds was fast, even with a strong wind blowing with the horses on the backstretch. On the far turn, Wiggins attacked, blew past Tenpointfive, and ran alone through the stretch.

Wiggins, based in Kentucky with trainer Dale Romans, stopped the timer in a strong 1:44.36 for

1 1/16 miles, winning his 15th race from 36 starts. Air Academy rallied mildly for second - his finishing position last year - nosing out Infectious Spirit.

Wiggins, the heavy favorite, paid $3.20 to win.

Land of Lincoln: Caruso wires

Richard Hazelton still feels compelled to qualify any compliments he hands Caruso.

"He's a nice Illinois-bred, but I don't know if he'd beat a good open horse," said Hazelton.

And Hazelton doesn't plan to give Caruso a chance to prove him wrong. An hour after Caruso remained unbeaten in one-turn races, scoring a fast win in the Land of Lincoln Stakes, Hazelton said he had already plotted out a summer schedule that would send Caruso to Illinois-bred stakes at Arlington and Fairmount Park.

Maybe someone there will give him more of a race.

Chillin Villain, who probably would have been Caruso's main pace rival, scratched from the Land of Lincoln, leaving Caruso as the primary speed, and the 3-year-old gelding took full advantage. He sailed through a half-mile in 45.78 seconds on a two-length lead, and had plenty left to hold off Stonehouse, a colt better suited to route racing who turned in a game effort finishing second.

Icandazzle also ran decently for third, while Chief Thief checked in last in a four-horse field.

Caruso ($2.60), bred and owned by the Asiel Stable, now has won 5 of 6 starts, including four stakes. He was timed in 1:10.37 for six furlongs, and was ridden to victory by Carlos Silva.

Chicagoland: High Expectations rallies

High Expectations needs a fast pace in order for his strong late kick to work in six-furlong races, and he got one in the Chicagoland Handicap.

Racing from last in an eight-horse field under jockey Chris Emigh, High Expectations blew by Distorted Groom in the final half-furlong and won the $87,866 Chicagoland by

3 1/4 lengths.

High Expectations, trained by Christine Janks, had finished third on March 17 in his first start of the season, but he tracked a 46.40-second half-mile pace on a speed-favoring track that day, and had virtually no chance. This time, Last Gran Standing, hotly pursued by Sub Futz Jr and Distorted Groom, zipped through his opening half-mile in 44.95 seconds before giving way. Distorted Groom made the lead at the top of the stretch, but had no response to High Expectation's late surge, while easily holding second over Sub Futz Jr.

High Expectations paid $10.20 to win and was timed in 1:10.62.

Governor's Lady: Trout River Red upsets

On paper, Trout River Red ($12.20) looked like the third-best horse in the Governor's Lady Handicap, but with favorites

Pretty Jenny and Bluesbdancing turning in subpar performances Saturday, Trout River Red came out 2 1/4 lengths on top.

Racing much closer to the early lead than usual, Trout River Red took command in midstretch and drew away late, easily beating pacesetting Precious Zeal, who finished 1o1/2 lengths clear of Denoun N Deverb.

Pretty Jenny, the 4-5 favorite, finished fourth, and second-choice Bluesbdancing was last of seven.

"I thought I was sitting in a great spot going easy, but half-way around the turn she started going backwards," said Chris Emigh, Pretty Jenny's rider.

Trained by Kelly Ackerman and ridden by Danush Sukie, Trout River Red ran six furlongs in 1:11.28.

Lady Hallie: Secret Kin's third in row

Secret Kin ($12.20) needed three tries to win a maiden race, but now she has won three in a row, capturing the $88,950 Lady Hallie Stakes by 4 1/4 lengths under a nice ride from Eddie Perez.

Secret Kin raced in fifth down the backstretch as four horses dueled on a fast pace. Perez found room before the eighth pole, and Secret Kin, trained by Chris Block for Team Block, went on about her business.

Favored Magnetic Miss was second, while Copper State closed for third.

* Tuffted scored the day's biggest stakes upset, winning the $105,900 Peach of It Handicap by a head. Trained by Marco Salazar, Tuffted paid $72.80 to win, and gave jockey Cecilio Penalba his first win of the Hawthorne meet.