09/13/2003 12:00AM

Jerome: Extended stay pays off

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After During won the $150,000 at Belmont Park, trainer Bob Baffert had to be happy he hadn't sent the 3-year-old colt home to California as he had originally planned five days earlier.

During, under Jose Santos, won the Jerome by three-quarters of a length over Tafaseel. Pretty Wild, the 6-5 favorite, finished third, 4 3/4 lengths behind Tafaseel. Inamorato, Your Bluffing, Roses in May, Distinct Vision, Gigawatt, and Region of Merit completed the order of finish.

Baffert, disappointed with During's losses in his last two starts at Saratoga, had booked passage on a plane last Monday for the horse. Tonja Terranova, who with her husband, trainer John Terranova, looked after During this summer, convinced Baffert to leave the horse in New York for the Grade 2 Jerome.

Baffert "owes me one," Tonja Terranova said with a laugh after the winner's circle ceremony. "I called him on Saturday and said, 'Bob, why don't you let me work him Sunday. He worked really good on Sunday, and Bob said to go ahead and run him."

Down the backstretch of the one-mile Jerome, During raced in third behind pacesetters Pretty Wild and Distinct Vision through a quarter in 22.58 seconds and half-mile in 45.04. During gained the lead early in the stretch and was able to hold off Tafaseel's late charge.

Santos was riding During, the 118-pound highweight, for the first time.

"We had a beautiful trip," Santos said.

During ($15.20) covered the distance in 1:36.32 over a fast track.

Baffert trains During, a son of Cherokee Run, for James McIngvale. Earlier in the summer, During won the Grade 2 Swaps at Hollywood Park, defeating Ten Most Wanted. After the Swaps, During finished sixth in the Jim Dandy and fourth in the King's Bishop.