10/15/2004 11:00PM

Dr. Kashnikow ends 23-month O-fer

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Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO
Dr. Kashnikow (7) gets by Tam's Terms late in the Cliff Hanger Handicap at The Big M on Friday.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Dr. Kashnikow rallied from last to win the Grade 3, $200,000 Friday night at The Meadowlands Racetrack and end a long victory drought.

A 7-year-old gray gelding trained by John R. Fisher, Dr. Kashnikow scored his first victory since the Grade 3 River City Handicap at Churchill Downs in November 2002.

"It's been two years since he won a race, but he's always been there," said Fisher. "He ran a great race."

Jockey Richard Migliore let Dr. Kashnikow, who carried 116 pounds, settle early before asking for run entering the final turn.

"We were really comfortable on the backside," said Migliore. "When I swung him out, he really kicked in."

Dr. Kashnikow got up by a half-length over Tam's Terms, who split horses in the stretch and held a brief lead.

Host, the 9-5 favorite and highweight at 117 pounds, was steadied and boxed in on the final turn before angling outside to close for third.

Jockey Joe Bravo, the rider of the fourth-place finisher, Hotstufanthensome, claimed foul against the winner because Dr. Kashnikow drifted into his path in the stretch. The stewards dismissed the objection.

Dr. Kashnikow ($33.80) ran the 1 1/16 miles over the good turf in 1:42.41 on a showery night in northern New Jersey.

The race was delayed several minutes because Stormy Ray reared and slipped under the starting gate. The gelding was pinned until the assistant starters were able to free him. He was scratched and was able to walk off the course.

Also Friday, Schedule ($5) led gate to wire and broke the track record for a mile and 70 yards in winning the off-the-turf $60,000 Miss Liberty Stakes for 3-year-old fillies. Schedule, ridden by Bravo, was timed in 1:37.90, winning by 7 1/2 lengths over Irish Melody in the race run over a "good" track.

Favalora ($45.20) pulled off a big upset in the $60,000 Comet Stakes for 2-year-olds. Favalora ran the six furlongs in 1:09.43 and improved his record to 2 wins in 3 starts for the team of trainer Ned Allard and jockey Harry Vega.