10/13/2005 12:00AM

T. D. Vance hits paydirt


LEXINGTON, Ky. - T. D. Vance, making his first start since his upset win in the Hall of Fame Stakes at Saratoga, was in full control Thursday, leading throughout and edging clear in the $150,000 at Keeneland.

Sent away as the lukewarm favorite in a field of eight 3-year-olds, T. D. Vance, ridden by Edgar Prado, turned back mild bids from several rivals and covered the mile in 1:34.65 over a firm turf course. He returned $6.80 to win.

Rey de Cafe, well back early, finished second, a length behind the winner and another three-quarters of a length before the previously unbeaten Therecomesatiger.

Before a crowd of 11,120, T. D. Vance broke sharpest from post 1 and cut fractions of 23.34 seconds, 47.12, and 1:11.50. Down the stretch and to the wire, Prado maintained a short but well-measured lead.

T. D. Vance, said Prado, "was the only speed in the race, and I took advantage of it by slowing it down as much as I could. When I asked him, he really kicked it in."

T. D. Vance, a bay gelding by Rahy, was dismissed at 16-1 before barely holding on to win the Grade 2 Hall of Fame on Aug. 8. Before that race, he won the Toronto Cup Handicap at Woodbine and now has a three-race win streak.

"This horse is getting good," said trainer Graham Motion. "He's matured very nicely."

Owned by the Courtlandt Farm of Donald Adam, the Kentucky-bred T. D. Vance has won 5 of 8 starts.