01/04/2009 1:00AM

Northern Soldier stages successful invasion

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Class trumped current form as Southern California shipper Northern Soldier, who had been facing graded stakes opposition, traveled to Turf Paradise and captured Saturday's $50,000 Swift Stakes.

Saddled by Dennis Sowers, the 6-year-old horse stalked the pace, moved up to dog pacesetter Bound to Be MVP on the turn, got the better of that rival past midstretch, and edged away to win by a half-length under Glenn Corbett. Bound to Be MVP was clear on the lead and while unable to rebuff the winner's challenge stayed on gamely to be second, well clear of 6-5 favorite Came to Pass, who came into this off two straight big wins. Came to Pass was disqualified from third to sixth for bumping rivals on the far turn, moving Eagle Storm up to third in the field of eight.

Northern Soldier ran the 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:02.51 and paid $4.80 as the second choice. The winner's share of $30,000 pushes his career bankroll to $299,910 from 6 wins in 21 starts.