03/08/2006 1:00AM

Kendor Dine wins in bog

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Kendor Dine slogged his way to victory in the Group 3 Prix Exbury at Saint-Cloud on Wednesday, handing the favored Special Kaldoun a five-length beating in the first European pattern race of the season.

The winner of the Group 3 Prix La Force on very soft ground last April, the 8.40-1 Kendor Dine reveled in the heavy going at Saint-Cloud. Stephane Pasquier put him on the lead after a furlong and it was clear sailing after that as Kendor Dine, a gelded 4-year-old son of Kendor, drew clear approaching the furlong pole. Trained by Yves de Nicolay, Kendor Dine covered the 1 1/4 miles in 2:15.60.

That 20 lengths separated the first five home was a measure of the extremely testing conditions. After six-time group race winner Special Kaldoun came Gold Sound, a Group 3 winner, six lengths farther back in third, with Geordieland, a Group 2 winner, fourth, another five lengths behind.

The Exbury, like all Group 3 races in France this year, carried a purse of 80,000 euros ($96,000), an increase over last year of 5,000 euros ($6,000).