08/05/2003 11:00PM

May Gator cruises in Waya


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - May Gator took advantage of surface change, a field drastically reduced by scratches, and a bad start by the other speed in the race to win Wednesday's $63,800 Waya Stakes by 6 1/2 lengths at Saratoga.

Kathy K D rallied up the rail to be second by a head over Suave Queen. Spice Island, the 6-5 favorite, finished last in the field of four.

The Waya, originally scheduled to be run at 1 3/8 miles on turf, was transferred to the dirt and run at nine furlongs over a sloppy track. Seven of the 11 horses entered were scratched.

May Gator, owned by Bertram, Elaine, and Richard Klein and trained by Steve Flint, was hustled to the front under Jerry Bailey. She set fractions of 24.83 seconds, 48.87, 1:13.11, 1:38.05 and covered the nine furlongs in 1:51.34. She won easily despite drifting out badly in the stretch. May Gator returned $5.20 to win.

Suave Queen, who looked like the other speed horse in the race, broke in the air when the gates opened and had to chase throughout under Richard Migliore.

"It was pretty simple once the outside horse got off bad," said Bailey, who won his meet-leading 25th race. "Just go to the front and improve my position."