10/23/2004 12:00AM

Spite the Devil rallies last to first


ELMONT, N.Y. - After a long parade of winning favorites on Saturday's New York Showcase Day card at Belmont Park, Spite the Devil swooped past the favorite, West Virginia, to win the $250,000 by a head and returned $32.

Ridden by Javier Castellano, Spite the Devil was in last position down the backstretch in the 1 1/8-mile Empire Classic. He began to close in on his 13 rivals around the turn and came widest of all into the stretch. Spite the Devil continued to gobble up ground in the stretch while racing in the middle of track and swept by West Virginia in the final yards.

Spite the Devil covered the distance in 1:50.23 over a fast track. He carried 119 pounds as the co-highweight.

Spite the Devil is owned and bred by Elisabeth Jerkens and trained by her husband, Allen Jerkens.

A 4-year-old son of Devil His Due, Spite the Devil is a multiple stakes winner with earnings of $599,661.

Sleepy Hollow: Galloping Grocer romps again

Galloping Grocer remained undefeated in three starts after his 7 1/2-length win over Naughty New Yorker in the $100,000 . Carminooch was another 2 1/4 lengths back in third.

Galloping Grocer, under John Velazquez, broke a step slow but quickly grabbed the lead and barely broke out of a gallop in the one-mile race for 2-year-old New York-bred males. Velazquez galloped his mount out a sixteenth of a mile past the finish line because Galloping Grocer hasn't had to run hard in any of his races and he wanted to give him the experience. Galloping Grocer won his first two starts by a combined margin of 24 1/4 lengths. The Sleepy Hollow was his first start in a stakes.

"He was training for this race, and I expected him to run good," said Dominic Schettino, Galloping Grocer's trainer. "If everything is okay, we'll go to the Remsen next."

The Grade 2 Remsen will be run Nov. 27 at Aqueduct.

Galloping Grocer created a minus show pool of $11,221 and returned $2.30 as the 1-9 favorite. His time was 1:37.34.

Robert Rosenthal and Bernice Waldbaum own Galloping Grocer.

Iroquois: Sugar Punch wins one for skipper

It wasn't how New York Yankees manager Joe Torre originally planned to spend his weekend, but he was still a winner with Sugar Punch in the $125,000 for fillies and mares.

Torre co-owns Sugar Punch, who won the Iroquois by 3 3/4 lengths over Beautiful America.

It was the first time that Torre was at the track to see Sugar Punch run. She is undefeated in six starts this year. If the Yankees had won the American League pennant over the Boston Red Sox on Thursday, Torre wouldn't have been at Belmont on Saturday, because the first game of the World Series was Saturday evening.

"I haven't been able to see her run until now because I've been working; unfortunately, I was supposed to be working today," said Torre, as he signed programs and baseball caps for a legion of Yankee fans.

Sugar Punch ($3.30) covered the seven furlongs in 1:23.10. She is trained by Richard Dutrow Jr.

Mohawk: Irish Colonial finally scores

Irish Colonial snapped his losing streak in the $150,000 with a half-length win over Certifiably Crazy. No Parole was third, a neck behind the runner-up in the 1 1/8-mile grass race.

Irish Colonial, ridden by Velazquez, was the 9-5 favorite in the 11-horse field. It was the first win for Irish Colonial since the Kingston Handicap in May 2003.

Irish Colonial ($5.70) covered the distance in 1:48.96 over a good course.

Owned by Fred Martin and Blue Sky Farm, Irish Colonial is trained by Randy Schulhofer.

Ticonderoga: On the Bus wins first stakes

On the Bus, with Pablo Fragoso aboard, got her first stakes win in the $150,000 . On the Bus, the favorite, won the 1 1/8-mile turf race by two lengths over Sabellina. On the Bus ($7.20) covered the distance in 1:50.14.

Ken and Sarah Ramsey own and are the breeders of On the Bus, who is trained by Dale Romans.

Hudson: Friendly Island, No. 4 for Velazquez

Friendly Island ($8.10) became a stakes winner in the $125,000 with his 3 1/4-length win over Clever Electrician, the 4-5 favorite in the six-furlong race. Velazquez won his fourth race on the card aboard Friendly Island, who stopped the timer in 1:09.49 over a fast track.

Friendly Island, a 3-year-old, is owned by Anstu Stables and trained by Todd Pletcher.

Maid of the Mist: Blinkers boost Pelham Bay

The addition of blinkers did the trick for Pelham Bay, who won the $100,000 Maid of the Mist by 4 1/2 lengths over Karakorum Splendor. Pelham Bay ($11) covered the distance in 1:39.40 and was ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan. Pat Kelly trains Pelham Bay, who is owned by Evelyn Pollard.