08/06/2006 11:00PM

After Market uses new tactics to win

After Market and Cornelio Velasquez win the Grade 2, $150,000 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Breeders' Cup Stakes at Saratoga on Monday.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - The patient approach trainer Bill Mott has taken with After Market continues to pay dividends. On Monday at Saratoga, After Market ran his unbeaten streak to four, and showed a new dimension by scoring a front-running victory in the Grade 2, $150,000 for 3-year-old turf horses.

After Market raced just once at 2, then returned from a seven-month layoff in June to win twice more. In those three victories, After Market rated and then finished, but with little speed in the Hall of Fame, Mott and jockey Cornelio Velasquez decided to go to the lead.

After Market ($4.50), the favorite, did the rest. He breezed through comfortable fractions of 24.60 seconds for the first quarter, 49.38 for a half-mile, and 1:13.16 for six furlongs, then flew home to complete 1 1/8 miles on the firm inner turf course in 1:48.45. He beat runner-up Spider Power by 2 1/4 lengths, with Green Lemon a nose farther back in third.

"I haven't messed it up yet," Mott said to jockey Bill Boland and trainer Carl Hanford, who were inducted into the Hall of Fame on Monday and made the trophy presentation after the race.

Mott, a Hall of Famer himself, has now won this race five times.

"It's a nice club to be a part of," Mott said of the Hall of Fame. "And to share it with two wonderful gentlemen who were inducted today."

After Market is regally bred, being by Storm Cat and out of the multiple- stakes-winning mare Tranquility Lake. He was bred and is owned by Marty and Pam Wygod.

Mott said he believes After Market could develop into a top-class horse next year, so he said he is inclined to continue on a steady ascension of the class ladder and not dive into anything too steep just yet.

"I don't want to go overboard this year," Mott said. "I want to have something for next year. Next year, maybe he'll be the man. I think he could be an Arlington Million-type of horse. He's got to prove his way into those kind of races. He's a big, scopy horse, and he's got the pedigree."