10/03/2004 12:00AM

Needwood Blade scores upset in Bay Meadows BC Handicap

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SAN MATEO, Calif. - Needwood Blade ($24.20), the longest shot on the board, split rivals late and outfinished Seinne to win the Grade 3 $112,599 on Saturday.

A sprinter in his native Great Britain, Needwood Blade had never raced farther than a mile. But he had plenty left after a ground-savimg trip when he split rivals inside the eighth pole and held off Seinne, who rallied five wide and was able to pull almost even before flattening out and losing the race listed as about-1 1/8 miles. Needwood Blade won by one length in 1:46.55 after trailing every one but Seinne early.

The victory, worth $55,00, gave Needwood Blade career earnings of $310,154. It was his first U.S. victory in seven tries in America.