01/26/2008 1:00AM

Lord Snowdon rallies from last to first


And the last shall be first. It took Lord Snowdon a while to shake off the cobwebs after a two-month layoff, but the hard-knocking sprinter saved ground on the turn under chilly handling from Ramon Dominguez and unleashed a strong late run to win the 100th running of the $81,600 Paumonok Handicap at Aqueduct on Saturday.

Lord Snowdon was last in the field of seven, 10 lengths behind pacesetter Man of Danger, after a first quarter-mile in 22.45 seconds, but edged closer while hugging the rail on the turn to get within six lengths of the lead after a half-mile in 45.25 seconds.

"If you don't know him, he seems to be going through the motions the first part of the race," said Dominguez. "But when he gets to the three-eighths pole he is absolutely ready to roll."

Man of Danger was pressed from the outset by Debussy and remained just in front of that rival at the midstretch marker. But Lord Snowdon gathered a full head of steam after being eased off the inside and ran past the leaders late to score by a length in 1:10.20 for six furlongs.

"He loves to win," said Dominguez. "He is smart enough to know what to do."

Lord Snowdon was claimed for $75,000 last January, and the 5-year-old gelding has now finished first in 6 of 11 starts for trainer Tony Dutrow. He paid $10.20 as the third choice, after providing his connections and backers, with some anxious moments early.

"That's just him," said assistant trainer Philip Scott. "He tries hard all the time."

Man of Danger held second by a neck over Debussy, who was third by the same margin over Leo. The order of finish was completed by Like Now, Adore the Gold, and City Attraction, the 2-1 favorite.

Lord Snowdon was the second winner on the card for Dominguez, who extended to a 53-43 lead over Alan Garcia in the rider standings. Garcia took off his mounts after the third race because of a head cold.