La Puente S.

(T 8f ,)

GOLDEN BALLS (IRE) (CH h, 118 lb) $64,980
Danehill Dancer (IRE) —Colourful Cast (IRE) , by Nashwan
B—Mrs Noelle Walsh, IRE.; O—Fontana Racing, LLC, Gould Family Trust and Pearson, Deron; T—James M. Cassidy

Desert Code (CH h, 118 lb) $21,660
E Dubai —Chatta Code , by Lost Code
B—ClassicStar, KY.; O—Tarabilla Farms, Inc.; T—David E. Hofmans

Vauquelin (IRE) (B h, 116 lb) $12,996
Xaar (GB) —Beryl (GB) , by Bering (GB)
B—Frank Dunne, IRE.; O—Mark DeDomenico LLC; T—Kathy Walsh

Margins: nose, ¾, 2¼. Others: Vaunt (GB) 118($6,498) , Shem 116($2,166) , Star Inside (IRE) 118 , Streets Ahead (GB) 118 . Winning Jockey, Brice Blanc.

It didn’t take long for Irish-bred Golden Balls to show he belonged in the United States. In his first start since arriving from England, the 3-year-old son of Danehill Dancer rallied to win the mile La Puente Stakes on grass at Santa Anita by a nose over odds-on favorite Desert Code, who led by 11¼2 lengths at the eighth pole.

Golden Balls’ name focuses on the accomplishments of former British star soccer player David Beckham. Beckham, who currently plays for Real Madrid, has signed a multi-million, five-year contract with the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer. He will begin playing for the Galaxy this summer.

Golden Balls, who won two of seven starts last year, was bought in England by current trainer Jim Cassidy last fall. He races for Martin Kissler’s Fontana Racing, Gould Family Trust, and Deron Pearson.

The Gould Family Trust’s earlier stakes winners included grade I winner Singhalese, who was bred in Great Britain. Trained by Cassidy and raced in partnership, Singhalese won the 2005 Del Mar Oaks (gr. IT).

For Pearson and partners, Cassidy trained graded stakes winners Katdogawn, Moth Ball, and Ticker Tape, all of whom were bred in Great Britain. Ticker Tape was the best, winning the 2004 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes (gr. IT) and American Oaks (gr. IT).

Cassidy feels Golden Balls should be comfortable at distances greater than a mile. He might try him this summer in the Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT) at nine furlongs or the Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT) at 10 furlongs at Arlington Park.

Danehill Dancer has sired 46 stakes winners, including other 2007 added-money winners Downhill Racer (Aust-II), Just Mambo (Aust-II), Danebar (Aust-III), Shrewd Rhythm (Aust-III), Barbajuan (Mac-III), Tango Amigo’s (in Australia), and Anna Pavlova (in Ireland). Danehill Dancer stands for 115,000 euros (about $155,000) at Coolmore Stud in Ireland.—D.S.