06/07/2008 12:00AM

Head bob puts Dancing Forever on top

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ELMONT, N.Y. - Dancing Forever dove to the rail with a bold rally in the stretch and then won a head bob from 3-1 favorite Out of Control to take Saturday's Grade 1, $400,000 Manhattan Handicap at Belmont Park.

Pays to Dream looked like a threat in midstretch but couldn't quite kick with the top two and finished third, a half-length back. Strike a Deal, who also loomed as a win threat in upper stretch, weakened a bit late and finished fourth. Better Talk Now, meanwhile, was unlucky to be caught in traffic late while full of run, and would have been a serious win threat with a clean trip.

Dancing Forever, a much-improved 5-year-old Phipps Stable homebred by Rahy, is trained by Shug McGaughey and was ridden by Rene Douglas. He covered the 1 1/4 miles on firm turf in 1:59.62, and paid $10.40.