11/28/2004 1:00AM

Sea Dub wins Buffalo Bayou Stakes

Jack Coady/Coady Photography
Sea Dub wins the $40,000 Buffalo Bayou Stakes by 2 3/4 lengths on Saturday.

Sea Dub returned to one of his best distances Saturday night and drove to a two and three-quarter length win over Payasito in the $40,000 at Sam Houston Race Park. It was another half-length back in third to Run to the Border.

Sea Dub ($8.20) sat in second behind Payasito in the mile and a sixteenth turf race while that one was clear through six furlongs in 1:14.68. The eventual winner overtook him late, covering the distance over a course rated firm that had some give in 1:46.57.

Luis Quinonez rode the winner for trainer Joe Petalino.

"He ran a nice race," said Quinonez. "Joe told me to layoff a little bit. The pace was real slow and the track was soft, but I just got him comfortable. I sat back and the rail opened up and he came through and ran well in the end."

Sea Dub, whose other career stakes win came at a mile and a sixteenth in the $75,000 Independence Handicap at Louisiana Downs, has now won 5 of 8 starts and $228,213 for owner and breeder Doyle Williams.

Petalino said Sea Dub could make his next start in the $60,000 Colonel E. R. Bradley Handicap at Fair Grounds on Jan. 2.