04/22/2005 11:00PM

Better Talk Now gets up by neck in Fort Marcy

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Better Talk Now, with Ramon Dominguez up, rallies from last to score a neck victory Saturday in the Fort Marcy Handicap at Aqueduct.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Graham Motion was hoping to find an easy enough spot to bring Better Talk Now back to the races, where he could win without having to be overtaxed.

Mission accomplished.

Better Talk Now, the defending Breeders' Cup Turf winner, rallied from last to run down Remind by a neck to win the Grade 3, $107,400 before a crowd of 3,554 at chilly Aqueduct. It was 1 1/2 lengths back to Ecclesiastic in third. Chilly Rooster and L'Oiseau d'Argent completed the order of finish.

"It couldn't have worked out better, really," said Motion, who trains Better Talk Now for Bushwood Stable. "This was the kind of race we wanted to bring him back in. These guys are pretty shrewd about picking the races, and I do the training."

Better Talk Now loves a turf course with give in it, and rain Friday night and Saturday morning made the Aqueduct turf course "good." Better Talk Now got the contested pace he was looking for when Remind and Chilly Rooster hooked up early and dueled through four furlongs in 48.99 seconds.

Better Talk Now tugged at jockey Ramon Dominguez, and the duo moved within three lengths of the lead down the backside. As Remind put away Chilly Rooster, Better Talk Now remained on the inside, before coming off the rail for the stretch drive. He gradually edged past Remind with mild hand urging from Dominguez. Better Talk Now, a

6-year-old son of Talkin Man, covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.74 and returned $3.60 as the 4-5 favorite.

He is now 3 for 3 at Aqueduct.

"[Dominguez] said he was surprised the turns were a little tight for him, but he said he handled himself very well," Motion said. "He said he was a little more relaxed than he remembered him being last year. Physically, I've never seen this horse look so well; he really looks tremendous."

Motion said he would point Better Talk Now to the Dixie Handicap at Pimlico on Preakness Day, May 21, and then the U.N. Handicap at Monmouth Park on July 2.