01/09/2010 1:00AM

Hallway hangs on in Dixie Poker Ace

Lynn Roberts
Hallway (foreground) holds off favored Desert Wheat to win the Dixie Poker Ace at Fair Grounds on Saturday.

NEW ORLEANS - Hallway just managed to hold off a late charge by odds-on favorite Desert Wheat to win the by a nose on Saturday at Fair Grounds.

After racing in fifth for most of the race, jockey Shaun Bridgmohan took Hallway forward at the top of the stretch, splitting horses mid-stretch to take the lead. Desert Wheat made a late charge, as he switched leads far into the stretch.

"My horse dug in and gave me a surge at the end," said Bridgmohan. "He's a horse that tries really hard."

Hallway went the mile and forty yards in 1:39.99 over a fast Fair Grounds main track, as the race was moved from the turf. He paid $12.60 to win.

The win came in Hallway's second start after being off for nearly nine months, and took his bankroll past $225,000 his connections, trainer Steve Asmussen and ownership Heiligbrodt Racing Stable.