05/07/2004 11:00PM

Delaware: Max Forever by a nose

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Max Forever ($10.80) was slow at the start but strong at the finish as he outdueled 4-5 favorite Private Lap by a nose to win the $53,700 Quick Card Stakes at Delaware Park.

Private Lap, in his first start since the Grade 2 Clark Handicap last November, led Max Forever by a length with a quarter-mile remaining in the one-mile Quick Card and was still a half-length in front at the eighth pole when jockey Jeremy Rose was able to urge Max Forever to just get up at the wire.

"Other than walking out of the gate, we got a real good trip," Rose said. "The race set up perfectly. This is a nice little horse and he showed his heart in the stretch."

A 4-year-old colt making his first start for trainer Bruce Levine, Max Forever is now 5 for 14 lifetime and covered the mile in 1:36.62.