10/17/2007 12:00AM

T.D. Vance regrouping in Woodford

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Eleanor Gustafson/Horsephotos
T.D. Vance, winning last year's Bernard Baruch, was next to last in the Shadwell Mile last out.
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Graham Motion took the Shadwell Mile for what it was and quickly turned the page. T.D. Vance, his highly useful turf runner, finished eighth of nine in the Oct. 6 Shadwell in a race that Motion now describes as "kind of a debacle" for his horse.

"He got into a speed duel with that horse from Chicago," said Motion, referring to longshot Spotsgone, "and it just didn't pan out. I don't really think he had that hard a race. He's lightly raced this year, so I don't think it's too big a deal coming back as quickly as we are."

Indeed, just 12 days later, T.D. Vance is back in the Keeneland entries under a dramatically different set of circumstances. Instead of facing Grade 1 company around two turns, as he tried to no avail in the $600,000 Shadwell, he shortens back to 5 1/2 furlongs and is likely to be favored in the Thursday feature, the Woodford, an ungraded race with a $100,000 purse.

T.D. Vance, a 5-year-old Rahy gelding with 17 starts and $481,639 in earnings, remained stabled at Keeneland following his failed Shadwell effort, apart from the main Motion strings at the Fair Hill training center in Maryland and elsewhere on the East Coast. "That's one of the reasons I'm running him back so quick, because he's there anywhere," said Motion.

T.D. Vance was assigned post 7 as one of 11 3-year-olds and upward in the 11th running of the Woodford, formerly known as the Nureyev. Rafael Bejarano, who took command of the Keeneland jockey race with five wins Sunday, has the call.

Although T.D. Vance is adept in two-turn grass races, having won the Bryan Station Stakes here two falls ago, his strength is sprinting on grass. Two starts back, he captured a small Saratoga stakes in that particular niche, rallying from just off the pace under Garrett Gomez.

"Garrett came back and said the horse was pretty settled, really," said Motion.

At least two other horses look quite capable of pinning a mild upset on T.D. Vance if he doesn't fire. One is Ever a Friend, an up-and-comer who most recently won a turf sprint on closing weekend at the Saratoga meet under second-level allowance conditions, and another is Fort Prado, a grizzled Chicago-based veteran with 15 wins from 36 starts and a bankroll of $887,555.

Two allowances (races 6 and 7) directly precede the Woodford on a nine-race card that begins at the usual 1:15 p.m. Eastern.