07/21/2004 11:00PM

Philadelphia: Foes go at it again

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Docent nipped Presidentialaffair by a nose and a neck when they faced each other in restricted stakes last fall and this June. Presidentialaffair, however, was clearly the better horse when they last met, racing in open company over a sloppy track, and in a graded stakes last November.

The rivalry resumes in the $50,000 Iroquois Handicap, a 1 1/16-mile race for Pennsylvania-breds at Philadelphia Park.

Presidentialaffair romped to a 7 3/4-length victory in the Skip Away at Monmouth this month, earning a career-high 112 Beyer. Docent, a 6-year-old gelding who is 4-3-1 in 10 starts over wet surfaces, finished fifth, beaten 16 lengths.

The question for handicappers is whether Docent can bounce back to the form he displayed June 5, when he beat Presidentialaffair by a neck in the seven-furlong Lyman Sprint Championship.