08/05/2007 11:00PM

Santa Rosa: Now Victory repeats in Grace

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Relaxing nicely on the lead, defending champion Now Victory ($3.40) had no trouble repelling a brief challenge by Saratoga's Magic at the quarter pole to score an easy victory in the $50,930 Joseph T. Grace Handicap at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds on Saturday.

Now Victory had an open lead under Frank Alvarado and still hadn't been asked when Saratoga's Magic crept within a half-length at the quarter pole. Alvarado let him run then, and Now Victory opened a three-length lead by the eighth pole, winning the 1 1/16-mile turf race by 2 1/2 lengths over Eager Pharisien, the longest shot in the field, in 1:42.06. Now Victory is trained by Dean Pederson.