02/22/2005 1:00AM

Dream comes true for Philly woman

Benoit & Associates
Avenueofknowledge takes the American Dream Derby Monday, earning his owner $250,000.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Avenueofknowledge, a 6-year-old maiden claimer, won Monday's , winning a $250,000 prize for Deanna Manfredi, a 36-year-old market consultant from Philadelphia. The race marked the conclusion of an eight-episode television series - billed as racing's first reality show - filmed at Santa Anita and shown Mondays on the Game Show Network.

Contestants drafted horses for Monday's one-mile race, and Manfredi took the winner with the fourth selection among the eight finalists.

Manfredi also won ownership of the eight horses in the American Dream Derby.

The horses were acquired privately last fall by the network. All had made their previous starts in California. They were turned over to trainer Ron Ellis last fall and were moved to different trainers last month for final preparation in advance of Monday's race.

In the winner's circle, Manfredi said Avenueofknowledge will stay with trainer Howard Zucker. The other horses will be sent to trainers at Delaware Park and Philadelphia Park this spring.

The program was not without its last-minute problems behind the scenes. The jockeys who participated in the race received increased fees at the last minute after a dispute with management, according to one rider who requested anonymity.