09/17/2004 11:00PM

In the end, all Roses in May

Roses in May will head into the Breeders' Cup Classic with a 5-for-5 record this season.

FLORENCE, Ky. - Dale Romans was apprehensive before the Grade 2 was run Saturday at Turfway Park, and he was still apprehensive as the field turned into the stretch.

But the final furlong was a blowout in favor of Romans and his stable star, Roses in May, who drew off to win the $350,000 race as the heavy favorite and head into the Breeders' Cup Classic with a 5-for-5 record this year.

"It all worked out," Romans said as he headed to the winner's circle with a relieved grin, while surrounded by a gang of elated friends and family. "Everything worked out."

Indeed, a better scenario could hardly have been scripted for Roses in May, who eased into a share for the early lead coming into the first turn, racing just outside Pie N Burger. Those two raced alongside each other to the upper stretch while setting moderate fractions, and then Roses in May sped clear under steady pressure to win by four lengths. He paid $2.60 to win.

Pie N Burger, the 11-1 fourth choice, finished second, while Sonic West was third in the field of six, another three-quarters of a length back. Adreamisborn, the 4-1 second choice, flattened out to finish fifth.

John Velazquez was aboard Roses in May and will ride him again in the Breeders' Cup Classic on Oct. 30 at Lone Star Park.

"Dale wanted to make sure I had him comfortable from the start and down the backside," said Velazquez. "Then he wanted me to make sure I rode him down the lane, and actually another eighth of a mile past the wire."

Roses in May finished 1 1/8 miles over a fast track in 1:49.13 and was timed "going out" in 2:02.60. The $221,500 winner's share gives him a bankroll of $995,187 for owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey.

Roses in May, a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred colt by Devil His Due, has won 7 of 10 starts, including all five this year. His last race before Saturday was a win in the Grade 1 Whitney at Saratoga. He will train at Churchill Downs until shortly before the Breeders' Cup.