07/18/2004 12:00AM

Something Smith cures second-itis

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OCEANPORT, N.J. - Something Smith ended a string of three straight seconds with a decisive victory Sunday in the $60,000 Bernie Dowd Handicap for New Jersey-breds at Monmouth Park.

Co-highweight in the field with Trueamericanspirit, Something Smith ran the six furlongs in 1:09.83 with Chuckie Lopez aboard.

Something Smith, one of the fastest New Jersey breds, showed a closing dimension for the first time. Instead of breaking right on top, Something Smith rated in fourth before launching a steady advance to collar and pass the pacesetting Sheryar Special.

"This is whole new dimension for him," said Lopez. "Now he'll be able to finish up strong."

Something Smith ($4.20) beat Dixie Two Thousand by three lengths.

Trueamericanspirit, the dominant force in the state-bred ranks earlier in the meet with wins in the John J. Reilly and Lincroft Handicaps, got third as the 3-2 second choice.

* Final Round ($7) unleashed a powerful stretch run to roll past the pacesetting Whoop's Ah Daisy and win the $65,000 Red Cross Stakes for fillies and mares at six furlongs.

Trainer Rusty Arnold opted for a shorter distance after Final Round had a trouble-filled trip in the Monmouth Beach Stakes.

"We weren't happy with her last race here around two turns so we decided to bring her back in a sprint," said Arnold.

"She wasn't happy in the paddock but Chris (DeCarlo) said she settled down when she got on the track."

After settling early, Final Round swung four wide into the lane to launch her rally.

"The last quarter of a mile she came with a pretty good late kick," said DeCarlo.

Final Round got up by a half length over Whoop's Ah Daisy in 1:10.19. Cupid Season was third.