05/10/2003 12:00AM

Thistledown: 'John' comes through


NORTH RANDALL, Ohio - Under Mike Rowland, odds-on favorite Waist Gunner John rallied five wide on the turn and won the $35,000 Quick Step Handicap. Heat Seeker, a 38-1 outsider, was close up all the way and finished 1 1/4 lengths behind the winner and 2 1/2 lengths in front of third-place finisher Wirebender.

Waist Gunner John, owned and trained by Chuck Kovach, ran the six furlongs of the Quick Step in 1:11.88 over a drying-out racetrack and boosted his lifetime earnings to $151,032.