06/03/2006 12:00AM

Delaware: Fin gets main-track win


Before Saturday, Fin had raced on dirt one time, finishing fifth in a race in Deauville, France, on Aug. 11, 2004. Her second dirt attempt went much better.

Fin, under Ramon Dominguez, ran down favored Dance Fee in midstretch and pulled away to a two-length victory in the $100,000 John W. Rooney Memorial at Delaware, run at 1 1/8 miles on the main track after rain washed it from the turf course. Dance Fee held second in the scratch-shortened field of five, with Little Buttercup third.

With graded-stakes winners Humoristic, Amorama, and Film Maker scratched, the Rooney looked like easy pickings for Dance Fee, the only stakes winner on dirt in the field and seemingly the lone speed. But Dance Fee was outsprinted for the lead, and she and jockey Jeremy Rose found themselves stalking longshot Crusading Time. Dance Fee prompted the pace in a tightly grouped field through fractions of 23.96 and 48.18 seconds and grabbed the lead turning into the stretch. But Fin, who had raced just behind Dance Fee for most of the race, came through on the inside to win her first stakes.

Fin, a 5-year-old Groom Dancer mare owned by C.M. Budgett and trained by Graham Motion, returned $23.60 to win and covered the 1 1/8 miles on a wet-fast track in 1:52.78.

Marchonin, the second favorite at 8-5, stumbled at the start and raced in last place for the entire race.