01/31/2009 12:00AM

Laurel: Russell Road keeps rolling


Russell Road rang up his sixth straight victory, beating Great Love by 1 1/4 lengths in the $48,400 Dancing Count for 3-year-olds at Laurel Park.

Coming in off five consecutive blowout wins over West Virginia-breds at Charles Town, Russell Road led early under Travis Dunkelberger but let Great Love cut ahead of him on the backside and sat about a length behind.

Russell Road engaged the leader on the turn, and after one crack of the whip was in front by the sixteenth pole and edging away. St John's Gospel finished third.

"I could have gone to the lead if I wanted," Dunkelberger said after. "He settled and took a breather, so I let him run how he wanted and he did the rest from there."

Owned by Mark Russell and trained by James W. Casey, Russell Road ran the six furlongs in a quick 1:09.79 and paid $3.40.

Russell Road's lone defeat was a second-place finish in his career debut at Charles Town in August. His six wins have come by a total of 45 lengths. The victory raised his earnings to $232,530.

"We're not going to rush him," Casey said.

Mr. Fantasy, 3-5 on the morning line, and two others were scratched, making the Dancing Count a four-horse race.

Mr. Fantasy, who won his maiden first out with a Beyer Speed Figure of 97 at Aqueduct in December, stayed in New York to run Sunday in an allowance race for statebreds.