12/26/2009 12:00AM

Digger digs wet track at Aqueduct


In his last 13 starts dating back to July 2008, Digger made just one appearance in a stakes, finishing a distant fifth, and ran for a claiming tag six times. But he apparently relished the wet-fast surface he caught on Aqueduct's inner track Saturday afternoon.

Sent to the front by jockey Anna Napravnik, the 5-year-old Digger opened up by 1 1/2 lengths, then had just enough to hold off 3-5 favorite Pashito the Che by a nose to capture the

"He's always in front, so the last part of the race is always a question mark," said trainer Bruce Brown, who took Digger on behalf of Repole Stable for $50,000 in mid-June. "He makes you sweat, no doubt about it. But he loves the inner track, even more so today with the moisture in it."

Digger completed the six furlongs in 1:11.66.

It was the 12th victory for Digger in 31 starts, but his first stakes triumph since he took the restricted Deputed Testamony at Laurel Park in October 2007.

Eibar Coa, the rider of Pashito the Che, lodged a claim of foul against Napravnik for whip interference in deep stretch, but it was disallowed by the stewards.

Paschito the Che, the heavy favorite after winning three straight stakes, had to settle for second, a length in front of 20-1 longshot Starforaday.