08/02/2002 11:00PM

Speed duel benefits Listen Here


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Listen Here, taking advantage of a suicidal pace and jockey Pat Day's patient handling, finished full of run through the stretch for a 2 1/4-length victory over a game Boston Common in Saturday's $150,000 at Saratoga.

Mayakovsky, the 6-5 favorite, tired badly after contesting the pace into the stretch and finished a well-beaten fourth. The previously undefeated Greatness flashed brief speed before fading badly and finishing seventh in a field of eight 3-year-olds.

Listen Here was allowed to settle far off the hotly contested pace of Boston Common and Mayakovsky, who battled on even terms through opening fractions of 21.86 and 44.75 seconds. Boston Common emerged from the duel with a commanding lead at midstretch. But he had little answer for the closing surge of Listen Here, who moved into contention entering the stretch and finished with a rush down the middle of the track to win going away.

Bold Truth outlasted the others to finish third.

Flying Free was fifth after being forced to steady sharply near midstretch when blocked between the tiring Mayakovsky and Heavyweight Champ. Following a stewards inquiry the result stood as is.

Listen Here covered six furlongs over a fast track in 1:09.58 and paid $19.80.

"He's been knocking on the door and everything just fell into place today," said Bill Mott, who trains Listen Here for the partnership of Kim and Rodney Nardelli and Lewis Lakin. "It looked like there would be a good honest pace so Pat just let him get his feet under him early."

The victory was the first in six starts this year for Listen Here, who won the first three starts of his career including the Grade 3 Nashua.

Mott said the King's Bishop, a $200,000 race on Aug. 24, "is the logical choice, and probably where we'll wind up next."