04/27/2009 12:00AM

Madeo in front when it counts

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INGLEWOOD, Calif.-Madeo arrived at the finish line just in the nick of time in Sunday's $100,000 Inglewood Handicap at Hollywood Park.

Madeo was fifth for much of the Grade 3 Inglewood, and rallied wide through the stretch under jockey Mike Smith to catch pacesetter Storm Military. At most, Madeo led for the final two strides. Sent off favored, Madeo ($6.60) ran 1 1/16 miles on turf in 1:42.04, winning by a head.

Storm Military, making his first start since August, led by as much as a length. He held second, finishing a head in front of third-place finisher U S Ranger in the field of seven.

Smith had Madeo about four lengths off the pace on the backstretch and was three wide on the final turn.

"He's got a really, really good turn of foot," Smith said. "I wanted to stay right there when they accelerated because they were going pretty easily and I knew they were going to finish. When I called on him, he jumped on it."

Madeo, 4, has won 5 of 13 starts and $463,715 for owners Jerry and Ann Moss and trainer John Shirreffs.

Madeo has won two stakes, including the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby last August. He was third in the Grade 2 Arcadia Handicap at Santa Anita on April 4, losing by a length to Dixie Chatter.