05/05/2005 11:00PM

Crown Royal: Rey de Cafe nips Rush Bay

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Javier Castellano timed Rey de Cafe's run to perfection and the 3-year-old colt got up in the final stride to edge Rush Bay by a nose in the $114,700 .

Rey de Cafe had finished third, behind Chattahoochee War and Guillaume Tell, in last month's Transylvania Stakes at Keeneland, losing by a neck after taking the lead at midstretch. On Friday, Rey de Cafe made his run later in the stretch.

Guillaume Tell was third, another length back. Dubleo, the 7-2 second choice, faded to fourth after pressing the pace. Chattahoochee War, the 5-2 favorite, finished seventh in the field of nine.

Rey de Cafe ($11.40) completed 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:42.00. The victory was his third in nine starts. He also won the Bourbon County Stakes at Keeneland last fall. The son of Kingmambo, who is trained by Rusty Arnold, was bred by his owner, G. Watts Humphrey Jr.

"The last time I rode the horse, he was pretty fresh coming off a layoff," Castellano said. "Today, I had a great trip. A lot of speed in the race. I could put him right behind the horses.

It worked out pretty good."

Chattahoochee War, the Transylvania winner, was third entering the final turn, but that was not where jockey Jerry Bailey wanted him.

"He was too rank," Bailey said. "I wanted to ease him back further than last time, but he wanted to go to the lead. Sometimes they have a mind of their own."