10/09/2004 12:00AM

Midwife dominates in Palo Alto

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SAN MATEO, Calif. - Midwife ($6), a $3,200 yearling purchase who broke her maiden at the $12,500 level, went wire-to-wire in her stakes debut as she won the $58,325 Palo Alto Handicap at Bay Meadows on Saturday.

Midwife was sent out early by jockey Francisco Duran and was able to maintain the lead down the backstretch under mild pressure from Secret Courier. Midwife opened up as she turned for home and lengthened her margin in the lane to win the 1 1/16-mile turf race by 3 1/2 lengths in 1:43.33. Secret Courier, who ran second all the way, finished three lengths in front of Go Ask Daisy in the race for 3-year-old fillies.

"It was a nice trip," winning owner-trainer Jedd Josephson said. "I never thought they'd let her get away like that. The jockey did a good job settling her down the backstretch."

The victory, Midwife's third straight in three turf tries, was worth $31,100 and boosted her career earnings to $67,765 with four wins in nine starts.