08/18/2007 12:00AM

P V Lightening relishes longer distance


P V Lightening obviously needed a lot more ground than five furlongs to show his best stuff.

Fifth of nine but closing ground when tried on turf for the first time in a sprint earlier this month, P V Lightening stretched out to 1 1/8 miles Saturday and scored a convincing win in the $50,000 Humphrey S. Finney Stakes for Maryland-bred 3-year-olds at Laurel Park.

Ridden for the first time by Travis Dunkelberger, P V Lightening ($17.80) came from far back to draw off by two lengths, covering nine furlongs on turf in 1:47.12.

Post time favorite Encaustic finished second after taking the lead at the top of the stretch. Tiger Rag was third.

Trained by Gary Capuano, P V Lightening won for the first time since his career debut at Pimlico in April. After three consecutive off-the-board finishes, he finished fifth sprinting on grass at Colonial Downs two weeks ago.

"We took him to Colonial and ran him on the grass and he ran such a strong race there we thought we'd give it a shot here," Capuano said. "We thought about sending him to the farm for a while and let him mature and grow up a little bit, but he ran well today. Travis did a great job."