10/29/2003 12:00AM

During outduels Unforgettable Max

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OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The last time During ran at Aqueduct, he finished seventh as the favorite in the Bay Shore Stakes in April. During made up for that loss with a win in Wednesday's $111,800 Discovery Handicap on the opening day of Aqueduct's fall meet before a crowd of 3,096.

During, with Jose Santos aboard, endured a stretch-long battle with Unforgettable Max to win the Grade 3 Discovery by a nose. Inamorato finished third, 1 3/4 lengths behind Unforgettable Max in the eight-horse field of 3-year-olds. Congrats, the 5-2 favorite, finished fourth, beaten six lengths by During.

Edgar Prado, who rode Congrats, said, "He ran even all the way around. I think he is a better horse than that."

During ($12.40) covered 1 1/8 miles in 1:51.18 over a muddy track.

Santos said that During, the 120-pound highweight, was tenacious.

"I thought I ran out of horse at the quarter pole," Santos said. "I hit him left-handed and he just kept giving me more. I said, 'Man, I still have a chance to win this.' "

Trained by Bob Baffert, During is owned by Jim McIngvale. During, a son of Cherokee Run, has been in New York since late July and has been under the care of trainer John Terranova and his wife and assistant, Tonja. Prior to winning the Discovery, During won the Grade 2 Jerome at Belmont Park.

During lost the Bay Shore over a muddy track, which might have accounted for his generous odds in the Discovery.

"He trained well on an off track at Belmont and we really had a lot of confidence in him," Tonja Terranova said.

Terranova said Baffert mentioned the Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs on Nov. 28 as a possible next start for During.