02/15/2006 12:00AM

Carthage captures Fairfax Overnight Stakes

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ALBANY, Calif. - Carthage ($5.80) sat off the early pace of Jeffries Bay before pulling clear in the lane to capture the $41,100 at Golden Gate Fields on Wednesday.

A wire-to-wire winner in his past two starts, including the San Carlos Handicap at Bay Meadows on Jan. 14, Carthage was content to sit behind Jeffries Bay through a 21.14 opening quarter. He put his head in front after covering the opening half in 43.28 and opened through the lane, defeating Court's in Session by four lengths in 1:08.27. The favored entry of Halo Cat and Jeffries Bay finished third and fourth.

"I told (jockey Dennis Carr) to do that," Carthage's trainer Art Sherman said. "I felt they'd try to burn me out with Jeffries Bay so I said just sit off him and track."

Carr said the option made his job easier. "I didn't have to gun him for all he was worth. That made my job easier."

Carthage earned $22,500, improving his career earnings to $185,135 with seven wins in 16 starts.