05/02/2004 11:00PM

Gander wins King's Point


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Gander broke his Aqueduct jinx on Sunday by winning the $80,975 Kings Point Handicap on closing-day of the spring meet.

Gander, the 9-5 favorite under jockey John Velazquez, won the 1 1/8-mile Kings Point by one length over Levendis. It was another four lengths back to Trial Prep in third in the New York-bred stakes.

The Kings Point was marred when graded stakes winner Private Emblem, who finished fourth, suffered an apparent leg injury before the wire. Private Emblem, the second choice in the six-horse field, was removed from the track by horse ambulance.

Gander, an 8-year-old gelding owned by Gatsas Stables, had lost seven previous starts at Aqueduct.

Down the backstretch of the Kings Point, Gander raced close to a moderate pace set by Private Emblem. With a furlong remaining, Gander loomed outside of Private Emblem and took the lead.

Gander ($5.60) covered the distance in 1:52.31 over a fast track.

Velazquez's win on Gander, who carried 122 pounds, was the rider's third on the card.

Trained by John Terranova II, Gander, a son of Cormorant has won 15 of 58 starts and has earnings of $1,816,368.