07/14/2002 12:00AM

Summer Swing captures Bernie Dowd

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OCEANPORT, N.J. - Summer Swing closed from far back off a rapid pace and stormed by the leaders in mid-stretch to win the $50,000 Bernie Dowd Handicap for 3-year-olds and up at Monmouth Sunday.

Sheryar Special set the quick early fractions of 21.64, 44.27 while H.M.S. Jackson and Spectacular Slew sat off the pacesetter. Turning for home, jockey Eddie King darted Summer Swing off the rail and to the outside, and he came six-wide down the stretch to draw off for a 2 1/2-length victory.

Summer Swing ($15.60), a 5-year-old trained by Kevin Sleeter, took the feature for Jersey-breds at six furlongs in 1:09.90 before a crowd of 14,207. Owned by Gerald Sleeter, Summer Swing improved to 7-4-4 in 26 starts. The Bernie Dowd was his second stakes win of the meet, as he also captured the John J. Reilly Handicap here May 12.

"He got a full head of steam going around the turn," said King, who had eight wins this week. "I knew I was the winner in the middle of the turn."