11/25/2006 1:00AM

Railroad controls John Henry


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Railroad ($14) kept pacesetting favorite Wild Buddy in his sights before making a strong move into the second turn to win the $57,800 John Henry Handicap at Bay Meadows on Friday.

Under a strong hold early by jockey Roberto Gonzalez, Railroad sat behind Wild Buddy on the turf course labeled "good." Railroad easily went by Wild Buddy, getting the jump on Clipperdown. He was three in front in the stretch and beat Clipperdown by two lengths in the one-mile race in 1:38.10.

"He will settle," winning trainer Brian Koriner said by phone from Hollywood Park. "As long as he gets first jump on the other horses he's all right. I could see he'd get by Wild Buddy pretty easy."

Gonzalez said he was told to get Railroad into the bit early and let him roll on the second turn.

"Russell [Baze aboard Wild Buddy] was hustling out of the gate," Gonzalez said. "I chirped a bit leaving the gate, but right from the first jump, I had a hold on the horse."

A multiple stakes winner at age 2, Railroad was claimed five times last year. Kornier claimed him for $50,000 for the Wind River Stables on Oct. 8, 2005. The 4-year-old gelding won the Kerlan at Hollywood Park in July.

He earned $31,400 for his ninth career victory in 25 starts, increasing his lifetime earnings to $283,704.