05/28/2006 11:00PM

Max West, 6, earns first stakes win

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Max West with Jose Flores riding wins the $100,000 Turf Monster Handicap at Philadelphia Park on Monday.

Max West overcame an objection and the presence of an odds-on favorite to record the biggest payday of his 42-race career Monday at Philadelphia Park.

A 6-year-old gelding who was claimed out of a ninth-place finish in a $6,250 dirt race in January 2005, Max West drew clear from Yankee Wildcat in the stretch to win the $100,000 Turf Monster Handicap by 1 3/4 lengths.

Pisgah, the 1-2 favorite in a field reduced to six older horses by four scratches, rallied mildly to finish a head behind Yankee Wildcat in third.

Trainer Carlos Guerrero had to wait while the stewards reviewed the stretch run before Max West's ninth career victory and first stakes win was declared official.

Despite left-handed whipping by jockey Jose Flores, Max West drifted in slightly as he was pulling ahead of pacesetter Yankee Wildcat early in the stretch, as the horses passed by the gap on the turf course created by the chute for 1 1/8-mile races.

After also veering slightly inside the gap, Yankee Wildcat nearly ran straight into the rail as it reappeared near the final sixteenth, but jockey Enrique Jurado steadied slightly and got his mount back on course. Jurado's foul claim against Max West was dismissed by the stewards.

"My horse was lugging in a little," Flores said. "But really, Enrique's horse was the one closest to the gap, and when we got to that point of the track, his horse drifted over there. I didn't force him there. And once I got past him, I just rode my horse to the wire."

Max West ($12.20) had prepped for the Turf Monster by winning a $20,000 starter allowance at Atlantic City in his first start of the year.

Timed in 56.63 seconds for the five furlongs, Max West has now won five times for Guerrero since May 2005.

Delaware: T.D. Vance slows pace

T.D. Vance got away with slow fractions and outlasted heavy favorite Tiganello by a half-length to win the $56,100 Eight Thirty Stakes at Delaware Park.

A Grade 2 winner at Saratoga last year, T.D. Vance ($8) ran poorly in his first start of 2006, finishing last of 10 in the Grade 3 Miami Mile at Calder. With Jose Caraballo aboard for the first time, T.D. Vance went to the front in the 1 1/8-mile Eight Thirty and was allowed to loaf through soft fractions of 25.20 seconds, 50.25, and 1:14.25.

Tiganello, the 7-5 favorite under Chris DeCarlo, made a run at T.D. Vance to get within a half-length at the eighth pole, but drifted out and lacked a finishing bid to fall a half-length short.

T.D. Vance, trained by Graham Motion, covered the nine furlongs on firm turf in 1:49.60.

Finger Lakes: Carlow closes strongly

Carlow, making her first start since late December, came from far off the pace to run down 16-1 longshot She'stenontop by a half-length in the the $50,000 Susan B. Anthony Handicap at Finger Lakes.

Ridden by Paul Nicol Jr. for trainer Karl Grausmark, Carlow ($14.40) was eighth, seven lengths behind, when she mounted a six-wide move on the turn and was moving fastest of all in deep stretch. Winning for the first time since taking the New York Oaks last September, Carlow was timed in 1:11.78 in the six-furlong race for New York-bred fillies and mares.

In the co-featured $50,000 George W. Barker Handicap, Johnie Bye Night ($2.40), ridden by John Davila Jr., saved the chalk players by scoring a 5 1/4-length romp over You Willgo Broke.

Top Shoter, the more accomplished part of the entry owned and trained by Charlton Baker, wilted in the stretch and finished a distant third, 5 3/4 lengths behind the runner-up.

Johnie Bye Night, coming out of a restricted optional claiming win at Aqueduct, ran the six furlongs in 1:09.34.

Monmouth: Extra Bend prevails

Extra Bend, claimed by trainer Scott Volk for $50,000 in March, held off odds-on favorite Electrify and Unbridled Behavior in a three-horse photo to win the $65,000 Spend a Buck Stakes at Monmouth Park.

Returning to the main track after finishing second in the Woodlawn at Pimlico on May 6, Extra Bend ($27) emerged with a clear lead in midstretch and was all out to hold off the late rush of 4-5 favorite Electrify by a neck, with Unbridled Behavior another head back in third.

Extra Bend, one of four winners for jockey Chuck Lopez on the card, covered the flat mile in 1:37.64.

Lopez also rode High Blitz ($7.60) to a seven-length win in the six-furlong Wolf Hill Stakes.

* Making his first start of the year, Northern Scene stalked a very quick pace in the featured $50,000 Barksdale Stakes at Louisiana Downs before firing down the lane and emerging on top in a three-horse photo finish. Dreamsandvisions and Commander Buck dead-heated for the place, a half-length behind the winner and three-quarters of a length in front of Witt Ante.

Under Lonnie Meche, Northern Scene was content to let Witt Ante carve out early fractions of 22.51 for the opening quarter and 45.40 for the half. After making a little progress on the leader through a blistering three-quarter fraction of 1:09.71, Meche laid his mount down and they closed with good determination in a time of 1:34.87 for the mile, just .60 off the course record for the mile.

Northern Scene is trained by Morris Nicks for Don Eberts, and the victory was the 5-year-old's seventh from 21 starts. Monday's payday increased Northern Scene's career bankroll to more than $223,000.

- Jeff Taylor