07/25/2003 12:00AM

Easy win for Trademark


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Ipi Tombe will not be the only South African turf horse to make an impact on North American racing this year.

Trademark, a 7-year-old gelding who finished 5 1/2 lengths behind the mare Ipi Tombe in two starts in Dubai this winter, received a perfect trip under Richard Migliore on Friday and galloped to a 4 3/4-length victory in the Grade 2, $150,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap before a crowd of 18,857 at sunny Saratoga.

Rouvres rallied to finish second, a neck ahead of Slew Valley. Tap the Admiral, Del Mar Show (the 5-2 favorite), Union Place, and Patrol completed the order of finish.

After three days of rain, Friday's weather was picture perfect, enabling the Bernard Baruch to remain on the turf - the first race of the meet to be run over that surface. The race was moved from the outer turf to the inner turf, which was deemed in better condition by management.

Trademark could have won this race at Saratoga National Golf Course had they moved it there. Trademark broke from post 6 in the seven-horse field, but was quickly moved to the rail by Migliore. Trademark tracked the early pace, which was contested by Del Mar Show and Union Place, and followed Del Mar Show into the stretch. He came out when room opened in upper stretch and he gobbled up the soft ground through the lane.

"The trip worked out really well," Migliore said. "He pulled me up behind the leaders and we got to save every inch of ground. We came for home, I was able to come out from behind Del Mar Show and he took care of the rest."

Trademark, owned by Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum and trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, covered the nine furlongs in 1:49.06 and returned $15.20 to win.

"He obviously was a very good horse in South Africa," said McLaughlin, who was coming off a Belmont meet where he went 19 for 44. "He finished third to Ipi Tombe in Dubai, and she would have been 1-9 in here. He's obviously a very good horse, and he's a bleeder. The Lasix has been a huge plus for him."

Jockey Jerry Bailey said he did not want Del Mar Show to race on the lead, but the horse "latched on" to the bridle when jockey Eibar Coa, aboard Union Place, constantly chirped to his horse.