03/13/2004 1:00AM

Laurel: 'Jorgie' surprises at $40

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Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Jorgie Stover (inside) and jockey Kaymarie Kreidel team up for a front-running, upset victory in the $75,000 Harrison Johnson Memorial Handicap at Laurel Park on Saturday.

A change of rider and some newfound speed enabled Jorgie Stover to end a long losing streak in the $75,000 Harrison E. Johnson Memorial Handicap at Laurel Park.

Winless in his last eight starts dating back to last June, the 6-year-old Jorgie Stover ($40), ridden for the first time by Kaymarie Keidel, was sent to the front instead of stalking the pace. Jorgie Stover led for nearly the entire nine furlongs, completed in 1:49.51 over a fast track, but had to fight back after being briefly overtaken in deep stretch to nip Your Bluffing by a nose.

Your Bluffing, who came into the race with six wins in seven starts at Laurel, stuck his head in front with a furlong remaining, but drifted in slightly at the sixteenth pole and grudgingly surrendered the lead at the wire.

Jorgie Stover was one of the top Maryland-bred sprinters in 2001 as a 3-year old, winning the Maryland Million Sprint and Star de Naskra Stakes at Pimlico. After 30 starts, trainer John Alecci starting stretching him out with solid results, including a third-place finish in the Maryland Million Classic last October.

It was only the second career stakes victory for Kreidel, 32, and her first in Maryland.