04/14/2008 12:00AM

Aqueduct: Sweep of Stallion Stakes


Steve Sigler's Winning Move Stable and trainer Gary Contessa swept the pair of New York Stallion Stakes run Sunday at Aqueduct.

In the $100,000 Times Square for 3-year-old colts and geldings, Fort Drum overcame an adventurous trip to win by a half-length over longshot Express to Thewest. Thirty minutes earlier, Like a Rose won a thrilling three-way finish to nose out Study Abroad in the $100,000 Park Avenue for 3-year-old fillies. Both races were restricted to progeny of New York-based stallions.

Fort Drum, a son of Wiseman's Ferry, was making his first start since Contessa purchased him for $145,000 at the Keeneland horses of all ages auction in January

Breaking from the outside post under Eibar Coa, Fort Drum ducked out leaving the starting gate. He continued to race wide until the field entered the far turn, when Coa was able to get him to the rail behind a three-ply speed duel among Piquante Cat, Pocatello and King David J, the odds-on favorite.

Fort Drum made a three-wide move approaching the quarter pole, and despite lugging in then bearing out again in the stretch, he was able to earn the victory. Fort Drum covered the seven furlongs in 1:23.87 and returned $8.10. Almighty Silver got up for third.

"He ran like a 2-year-old making his first start," Contessa said of Fort Drum. "I have never seen a horse run this stupid and win."

In the Park Avenue, Like a Rose, who seemed stuck in neutral in midstretch, was emboldened when Study Abroad came to her outside and she was able surge past that one and I Promise to get a nose victory in 1:25.31, paying $18. Mike Luzzi rode Like a Rose, subbing for Chaning Hill, who took off his mounts after being thrown from an earlier mount on the card.

The favored I Promise, also trained by Contessa, was a hard-luck third after putting away a pace challenge from Canadian Ballet.

Like a Rose won for the second time in eight days after finishing second in her first two starts.