10/24/2004 12:00AM

Pair of stakes end Belmont meet


ELMONT, N.Y. - Crown Point held on for a three-quarter-length win to capture the $82,725 Pilgrim Stakes for 2-year-olds on the grass on the closing-day card of Belmont Park's fall meet on Sunday.

Under Jose Espinoza, Crown Point ($39.40) received a ground-saving trip while stalking the pacesetter, Kfar Daniel, in the 1 1-8-mile inner turf race. Tadreeb, the favorite, didn't fire and finished fourth.

Wallstreet Scandal was second, a half-length in front of Drum Major.

Crown Point covered the distance in 1:50.31 over a good course.

Crown Point is trained by Dave Donk, who won the Pilgrim with Awad in 1992 and Incurable Optimist in 1998. Donk trains the son Honor Grades for Drumlanrig Farm.

Earlier on the card, Melhor Ainda won the $82,200 Miss Grillo Stakes for 2-year-old fillies on the grass.

Jose Santos, who rode four winners on the card, piloted Melhor Ainda to a seven-length win in the 1 1-8-mile race. Melhor Ainda ($6) completed the distance in 1:52.28.

The heavy favorite, My Typhoon, looked like a winner turning for home, but Melhor Ainda was full of run and blew by the favorite early in the stretch. Gemilli finished second, three-quarters of a length ahead of Accretion. My Typhoon faded to fourth.

Bobby Frankel trains Melhor Ainda for T N T Stud.

* The meet titles went to jockey John Velazquez and trainer Todd Pletcher. Velazquez topped the standings with 58 winners. Cornelio Velasquez was next with 33 winners. Pletcher saddled 23 winners, six more than the runner-up, Bruce Levine.