06/14/2003 12:00AM

Awesome Time ($42.60) Delaware shocker

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Awesome Time rebounded from an eighth-place finish in last month's Withers at Aqueduct to win the Grade 3, $250,000 Leonard Richards at Delaware Park Saturday. The Nick Zito-trained colt prevailed in a long drive to win by a nose over Christine's Outlaw, with Cherokee's Boy third. Go Rockin' Robin, the 3-2 favorite, finished fourth in the race restricted to 3-year-olds.

The winner paid $42.60 and completed the 1 1/16 miles over a fast track in 1:43.26.

"I thought I might have gotten nailed with the last jump," jockey Anthony Black said. "It came right to the wire. This horse gives every ounce of his ability and that was the difference at the finish."

Awesome Time rated in third early, and the race set up perfectly for him as Ironton and New York Hero battled on the pace, setting fractions of 22.77 seconds for a quarter-mile and 46.07 seconds for a half-mile. Black moved to engage the leaders leaving the backstretch and battled the remainder of the race with Christine's Outlaw. The Leonard Richards marked Awesome Time's first stakes victory, and he has now won 3 of 8 lifetime starts.