11/19/2001 12:00AM

Gray remains Oxley's favorite color

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The same owner-trainer team that captured the Kentucky Derby here last spring with Monarchos was back in the Churchill Downs winner's circle Saturday after Snow Dance earned a hard-fought victory in the $172,500 Mrs. Revere Stakes.

Like Monarchos, Snow Dance ($4.80) is a gray 3-year-old. "I love those grays," said owner John Oxley.

With Craig Perret aboard for trainer John T. Ward Jr., Snow Dance had to work virtually every step of the Mrs. Revere, a Grade 2, 1 1/16-mile turf race restricted to 3-year-old fillies.

Before a crowd of 12,988, Ever With You set the early pace with Snow Dance flanked closely to her outside. Turning for home, Snow Dance wrested a slight edge, but then a pack of chasers began closing in. Snow Dance was able to hold off all of them, finishing a neck ahead of Stylish. Cozy Island, a 47-1 outsider, was just another nose back in third.

Snow Dance now has won five of six career turf starts, with her only loss coming last month in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland.

"We'll take her to Palm Beach Downs for the winter," said Ward. "She'll get a little break before we gear her back up for a campaign at Gulfstream."