06/21/2008 12:00AM

Bear Now holds on


Bear Now ($3.30) barely won the $101,200 Hill 'n' Dale Stakes for the second year in a row at Woodbine.

Jockey Jerry Baird let Bear Now go directly to the lead, and they set moderate fractions in 1o1/16-mile route for fillies and mares.

Serenading, who is owned by Hill 'n' Dale Farm principals John and Glen Sikura, closed strongly along the inside in the stretch to finish just a head behind the winner. Lomaki faded to finish third in the eight-horse field, after making a bid on the far turn. The final time was 1:43.49.

"She was actually looking for horses down the lane," said Baird. "They were coming, but I knew the wire was coming too fast."

Bear Now, trained by Reade Baker for Bear Stable, banked $60,000 and earned a season to a Hill 'n' Dale stallion in Kentucky.

Marlang ($22.70) notched his first stakes while making his turf debut in the supporting feature, the $100,800 Charlie Barley. Marlang ran a mile in 1:35.66 under Richard Dos Ramos.