08/27/2001 12:00AM

Ransom's Pride takes Yaddo


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Ransom's Pride came into Monday's $84,875 Yaddo Handicap for New York-bred fillies and mares as the only member of the field without previous turf experience. She came out a game neck winner over Longingtobeme under a well-judged ride by Jorge Chavez.

Ransom's Pride stalked the pace of the tepid 3-1 favorite Polly Jo, took command in early stretch, and then after drawing clear was fully extended to withstand the final surge of Longingtobeme. Polly Jo held well lead to finish third, a head before Key Oui, who finished willingly after she had been forced to steady for lack of racing room at midstretch.

Ransom's Pride, a son of Red Ransom and Peruvian Pride owned by Chester and Mary Broman, had captured three of her six previous starts, all on the main track.

"We tried her on the grass because of her breeding," said trainer Ramon "Mike" Hernandez. "Red Ransom has produced some nice grass horses. She's been training well for the race, and I had a lot of faith in her. I thought Jorge gave her a perfect ride."

"I had a beautiful trip," said Chavez, "She really liked the turf today."

The win was the first at the meeting for Hernandez and the third time he has won the Yaddo. He captured back-to-back editions of the race in 1981 and 1982 with Czajka and Cassie's Birthday.

Ransom's Pride paid $21.80 after covering 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.30 over a firm turf course.

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