11/01/2003 12:00AM

Favorites capture holiday features at Meadowlands


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - There were few surprises on Halloween at The Meadowlands, as favorites or second choices won the three featured events Friday night.

Tangier Sound ($7.20) took the $40,000 Witches Brew, Gimmeawink ($5.80) prevailed in the $45,000 Paterson Stakes, and He Flies ($5.80) rallied to take the $25,000 Grey Ghost Starter Handicap.

Tangier Sound took command out of the gate and held off all challengers with Julian Pimentel aboard for trainer Jim Ryerson. She ran the five furlongs on the turf in 58.81 seconds while finishing 2 1/2 lengths clear of Nun on the Run.

"She prefers to be outside when there's other speed in the race, and Impolite was pressing her pretty good from the inside," Ryerson said. "Off her last race," a last-place finish in the Clark County Stakes at Keeneland, "you always start questioning what happened and wonder if her best days are behind her, but she proved that they aren't tonight."

The Grey Ghost, restricted to gray or roan horses, is a Halloween tradition at the Big M. Pimentel also rode He Flies, a gelding he called "the best horse in the race." Homecooking Ruby, who set the pace, held on for second.

Gimmeawink outdueled Roaring Fever by a neck to capture the Paterson for 3-year-olds.