09/04/2005 12:00AM

Jambalaya victorious in Saranac

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Jambalaya (inside) and Jono Jones win the Grade 3 Saranac by a nose over favorite Silver Whistle on Sunday at Saratoga.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Canadian invader Jambalaya won a thrilling edition of the Grade 3 on Sunday, edging out 8-5 favorite Silver Whistle by a nostril on the wire.

Jambalaya, ridden by Woodbine-based rider Jono Jones, took an extremely narrow lead at the eighth pole over Silver Whistle, with jockey Jerry Bailey, who had rallied four-wide to reach the front. With Jambalaya veering out slightly in the stretch, those two horses were locked in battle to the finish with neither one gaining greater than a nose edge.

In a field of nine 3-year-olds, Jambalaya covered 1 3/16 miles in 1:54.20 over a firm turf course. The attendance for the penultimate day of the meet was 48,608. The winner paid $10.80 to win and topped a $29.80 exacta. Woodlander finished third.

"We got lucky, and he's a super horse," trainer and owner Catherine Day Phillips said. "It looked like he had it down the lane, and then he didn't. The see-saw back and forth was something else. As it was, it turned out in our favor."

Jambalaya remained undefeated in four starts on the grass, including an eight-length romp in the 12-furlong Breeders' Stakes at Woodbine on Aug. 7, the third and final leg of the Canadian Triple Crown. Jones, who has ridden Jambalaya in six of his seven starts, earned his first Saratoga riding win.

Jambalaya, a gelded son of Langfuhr, earned $67,140 of the Saranac's $111,900 purse for Phillips. On Mary Ryan's "Paddock Club" show Sunday morning, Phillips pledged 10 percent of "whatever Jambalaya's earning are today" to aid the children of New Orleans displaced by Hurricane Katrina.