05/17/2008 12:00AM

Starforaday wins with furious rally


Starforaday earned his second straight victory following a six-month layoff by rallying to capture the Grade 3, $100,000 Maryland Sprint Handicap on Saturday at Pimlico Race Course.

Starforaday ($8.20), the third choice, was last in the five-horse field after a quarter-mile, but closed furiously down the center of the track to reel in Suave Jazz and pacesetter Cognac Kisses nearing the wire. He won by a neck, with Suave Jazz a neck in front of third-place Cognac Kisses, the 6-5 favorite.

Edgar Prado rode Starforday, who completed six furlongs on the fast main track in 1:09.56.

Gary Contessa trains Starforaday for Steve Sigler's Winning Move Stable. According to Contessa, Starforaday "has terrible feet," but is able to compete successfully because of glue-on shoes.

"That's another walking advertisement for [glue-on] shoes, the same shoes Big Brown uses," Contessa said. "The shoes have saved his career. The finish he has is amazing."

Celtic Innis got away with a 23.16-second opening quarter-mile, with Cognac Kisses right at his throat. Cognac Kisses took the lead rounding the final turn, but got weary late, with Suave Jazz, and then Starforaday, passing him in the final yards.

Though the early fractions were slow, a quick second quarter-mile in 22.65, and the contested pace, were credited by Prado with helping Starforaday.

"There was a lot of speed and it seemed like everybody went," Prado said. "I was behind it. I was hoping they would come back to me. It worked out beautiful."

Starforaday has now won 4 times in 14 starts, but he is 2 for 2 since moving to Contessa's barn. He won a second-level allowance race at Belmont on May 1.