12/14/2002 1:00AM

Martha's Music pays $22 at Laurel

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Martha's Music finished strongly from well out in the track to win Saturday's Grade 3 Anne Arundel Stakes at Laurel Race Course by three-quarters of a length.

Jockey Stewart Elliott was patient aboard Martha's Music while racing in fifth early as 18-1 Pass the Virtue and 19-1 Shop Till You Drop opened up a long lead over the rest of the field. The leaders began to come back to the field nearing the stretch, and it was Martha's Music who emerged from the pack with the best late bid. Martha's Music covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.84 over a good track and paid $22.

Pass the Virtue, who set the early pace on a short lead inside Shop Till You Drop, held second over that rival by three-quarters of a length.

To the Queen, the even-money favorite trained by Bill Mott and ridden by Jerry Bailey, saved ground in the second flight to the stretch but lacked a closing bid and finished a nonthreatening fourth.