11/19/2005 12:00AM

Evening Attire proves he still has it

The 7-year-old Evening Attire and Jose Santos win the Stuyvesant Handicap.

The old warrior struck again. Benefiting from a perfect trip beneath Jose Santos and a return to his favorite track, the 7-year-old Evening Attire rallied through the stretch to win Saturday's Grade 3, $108,600 at Aqueduct.

Evening Attire broke a step slowly but quickly recovered to save ground going into the first turn, while expected pacesetter Kennel Up was left at the post and caught widest in the field of six older males.

"When he is up there stalking horses he is happy," said winning trainer Pat Kelly. "I told Jose there are two Evening Attires: the one that drops 20 lengths out of it and the one that can stalk horses."

Kennel Up's misfortune left 2-1 favorite Aggadan on an easy lead through fractions of 25.03 and 49.81 as the field bunched up along the backstretch. The tempo increased as Aggadan maintained the lead after six furlongs in 1:14.02, but West Virginia wrested command approaching the eighth pole after a mile in 1:38.89, while Evening Attire switched to the outside and gathered momentum.

Evening Attire surged through deep stretch and put a neck in front of West Virginia at the finish. "I think he did just enough to get by," said Santos.

West Virginia held second by three-quarters of a length over Aggadan. Kennel Up finished fourth, followed by Spite the Devil and Dr. Rockett.

In notching his 12th victory from 45 career starts, Evening Attire ($9) ran the 1 1/8 miles in 1:51.38 on a fast track and upped his record on the Big A's main track to 5-1-0 from seven outings. The winner's share of $65,160 boosted his earnings to $2,483,352.

Longshots lead to $270,540 pick six payoff

Earlier, Mountain Mambo held off a late charge from Half Heaven to win the $68,000 Soaring Softly, a restricted turf stakes for 3-year-old fillies.

Mountain Mambo paid $31 after running 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.81 on yielding turf, and was one of four longshot winners in a pick six that featured a three-day carryover pool of $183,659.

Two tickets, each worth $270,540, were sold offtrack on the winning 4-5-8-2-1-8 combination, which included Nikki's Halo ($29.80), My Golden Song ($3), Dixie Swinger ($23.60), Mountain Mambo, Evening Attire, and Titled ($19.60).