04/08/2004 12:00AM

Shake You Down shows his grit

Sunny Taylor /Coady Photography
Shake You Down (inside) wins the Grade 3, $150,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap by a head Thursday at Oaklawn Park.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Shake You Down showed grit to hold off a late bid by Where's The Ring and win the Grade 3, $150,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap by a head Thursday at Oaklawn Park. It was another length and a quarter back in third to Aloha Bold.

Shake You Down ($4.80) broke slow, but rushed up for the lead soon afterward, and was clear through fractions of 21.80 seconds for the opening quarter and 44.60 seconds for the half-mile mark. He went on to cover the six furlongs in 1:09.27.

With the win, Shake You Down rebounded from a rare defeat. In his previous start he finished fifth in the $50,000 Hot Springs Stakes, but after that race was found to have mucus in his air passages. It forced Shake You Down to miss three days of training going into the Count Fleet.

"At about the eighth pole I could tell he was getting a little tired, but he gave me all he had and when [Where's The Ring] got close he gave me that little extra the good ones have," said Ramon Dominguez, who was aboard Shake You Down for the first time on Saturday.

Shake You Down earned $90,000 for the win for owner Robert Cole, Jr., who claimed Shake You Down for $65,000 last year. The Count Fleet win was the horse's 16th victory from 39 starts, and his earnings now stand at $1,255,060.

Shake You Down is trained by Scott Lake.

Lake said Shake You Down is being pointed for two upcoming stakes at Belmont Park: the Grade 3, $100,000 Bold Ruler on May 8, and the Grade 2, $200,000 True North Breeders' Cup on June 5. He won both races in 2003.