11/07/2009 12:00AM

Expansion flies late in Red Smith


And the last shall be first.

Expansion, making his stakes debut after toiling in the allowance ranks all season, rallied wide off the final turn and ran past all six of his rivals to win Saturday's 50th running of the in his first start for trainer Chad Brown.

Expansion, who won two allowance races earlier this year, trailed the field after a mile in a dawdling 1:43.16, but unleashed an impressive burst of speed when set down by Channing Hill to win the 1 3/8-mile race going away by 1 1/4 lengths.

"I was just trying to be as patient as I could and wait," said Hill. "Coming around the turn, I figured someone was going to have to be really running to outkick us because I had a ton of horse."

Expansion paid $27.60 to win, and earned $90,000 for Gary and Mary West.

Grand Couturier, a three-time Grade 1 winner and the 9-5 second choice, was up for second in a four-way photo over Spice Route, the 93-1 shot Mr. Univero, and Jamabalaya, the 8-5 favorite in his second start back from a two-year layoff. It was three lengths farther back to Operation Red Dawn, who set a slow pace for nearly a mile and held on to midstretch.

Buddy's Saint, Ailalela win stakes

In the first of the day's pair of 2-year-old stakes, Buddy's Saint, who was technically a maiden after being disqualified from first in his debut, outdueled odds-on Toboggan Slide and drew off to win the by 12 lengths.

About 90 minutes later, Ailalela, coming off a maiden win for Todd Pletcher, caught pacesetter Nonna Mia in the stretch and outfinished Mambo Fever to take the .

Buddy's Saint went head and head with the previously unbeaten Tobbogan Slide through moderate fractions of 23.43 and 46.37 in the one-mile Nashua. He edged away by a length around the turn under Jose Lezcano after six furlongs in 1:10.65, and widened with every stride through the stretch, running the mile in 1:35.67 over a fast main track. Thank U Philippe finished second.

"He broke very sharp," said Lezcano. "I knew the other horse was going to pressure me. At the half-mile pole I tested my horse a little bit, and I knew I had a full tank of gas left."

Buddy's Saint, who was first-time Lasix, paid $9.90 to win as the third choice in a field of six, and earned $90,000 for Kingfield Stables.

"I didn't expect him to run that big today," said trainer Bruce Levine. "I know he got taken down in his first start, and he was a maiden, but if he had won, we were going to run him in this race, so I decided not to change direction. He trains super, and I knew the distance was not going to be a problem. I knew he'd want the distance.

Levine said Buddy's Saint will return in the Remsen Nov. 28 at Aqueduct.

Thank U Philippe, who was coming off a runner-up finish to Jackson Bend in the In Reality at Calder, bumped at the start with Toboggan Slide, then rallied three wide. Toboggan Slide held third over Systemic Risk.

In the Tempted, Ailalea ($5.40) broke slowest under Eibar Coa in a six-filly field, recovered to a contending position inside during the run down the backstretch, swung wide into the lane and overtook Nonna Mia to win by 1 1/4 lengths as the favorite.

"I had a pretty good trip - the one thing they told me was that she didn't like to be inside," said Coa. "But breaking from the inside, there wasn't much choice. When I finally got her out at the three-eighths pole, she became more comfortable and went after the leaders."

Mambo Fever, making her first start since a maiden win at Saratoga closing weekend, finished gamely to be a clear second. Nonna Mia held third over Tizhit.

Ailalea ran the mile in 1:36.75 - more than a second slower than the boys in the Nashua - and earned $60,000 for Starlight Partners.

"She's a real quality filly and we've been very happy with the way she's training," said assistant trainer Jonathan Thomas. "She's showing more professionalism in the way she's handling race-day scenarios."