03/23/2007 11:00PM

Chavez scores aboard Maryfield


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - For so many years in the 1990's, the Aqueduct winner's circle was home for Jorge Chavez. Now riding in Southern California, Chavez proved he could go home again.

Despite breaking poorly from the rail aboard Maryfield, Chavez was able to guide the 6-year-old mare from last to first to win Saturday's Grade 2, $158,000 Distaff Breeders' Cup Handicap by 2 1/4 lengths. Candy Box, part of a hot early pace with May Day Vow, finished second by three-quarters of a length over Oprah Winney.

Victorina, the 8-5 favorite under Russell Baze, slammed into Oprah Winney coming out of the gate and finished fourth. She was followed in the order of finish by Magnolia Jackson, May Day Vow, and Hello Lucky.

The victory was the first in a graded stakes for Maryfield, a Canadian-bred daughter of Elusive Quality trained by Doug O'Neill and owned by Jim Perry, Nick Mestrandrea Jr., and Mark Gorman.

Though Maryfield looked like one of the speed horses in the field, she broke last and had to steady while trying to advance into contention along the rail entering the far turn. Meanwhile, Candy Box and May Day Vow were dueling through fractions of 22.33 seconds and 44.48.

Maryfield continued to advance along the inside around the turn and came off the rail in upper stretch. Despite racing on her wrong lead down the lane, she took over from Candy Box 70 yards from home. Maryfield covered the six furlongs in 1:09.73 and returned $15.20 to win.

"I expected her to break and be wherever she wanted to be," said Chavez, a three-time inner track riding champion whose last mount here was on Dec. 31, 2004, when he won the Alex M. Robb Handicap aboard Lord Langfuhr. "When the other horses came out and were going so fast, I just [waited]. On the turn, my horse started drifting out a little bit, and got into a little trouble, but she came back and made the turn and it worked out."

Chavez, who had two other mounts on the card, received a boisterous ovation from the railbirds among the 3,752 in attendance at Aqueduct.

"It was unbelievable to hear the public cheering; that's a wonderful feeling," Chavez said.

Cicada: Control System passes test

After two easy wins at Philadelphia Park to begin her career, Control System passed her class test with flying colors Saturday, rolling to a 3 1/2-length victory over pacesetting Golden Dreamer in the Grade 3, $109,600 Cicada Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.

Breaking a step slow from the rail under Julian Pimentel, Control System chased Golden Dreamer from the inside through an opening quarter in 22.73 seconds. Pimentel was able to guide her off the rail entering the far turn and crept alongside Golden Dreamer turning for home. Control System put away a stubborn Golden Dreamer at the sixteenth pole en route to the win. It was one length back to Special Dream in third.

Control System, a daughter of Lion Hearted trained by Michael Trombetta and owned by Thomas McClay and Harry Nye, covered the six furlongs in 1:10.43 and returned $6.50 as the favorite.