11/15/2008 1:00AM

Sweet Goodbye keeps streaking


Sweet Goodbye got the drop on Fascinatin' Rhythm hustling out of the gate and led every step to win the $50,000 Northern Dancer for Maryland-bred 3-year-olds and extend her win streak to five.

Ridden by J.D. Acosta, Sweet Goodbye led by as much as seven lengths up the backstretch while on cruise control. The only tense moment came as she straightened for home with Fascinatin' Rhythm moving fastest and closing to within about two lengths of her. But Sweet Goodbye then picked up the pace, inched away again, and hit the wire 4 3/4 lengths in front.

Fascinatin' Rhythm held second by three lengths over Jen's Revenge. Legendary Lover was fourth and last.

The two fillies in the race ran one-two. There were four program scratches, including Fujita, a Todd Pletcher trainee who was the 9-5 favorite on the morning line.

Sweet Goodbye ran the 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.58 over a sloppy track and paid $3.20.

Owned and bred by William Harris, Sweet Goodbye has won each of her last five starts by open lengths, and by a combined 37 1/4 lengths.

"We're trying to plan for bigger and better events," said Sweet Goodbye's trainer, Chris Grove.

Three of the four scratches were because the Maryland Jockey Club on Friday banned horses from shipping into Laurel to race - except from the Bowie Training Center - because a horse on the grounds tested positive for equine herpesvirus earlier in the week.