10/20/2006 11:00PM

Ticonderoga: Finlandia nips Sabellina


ELMONT, N.Y. – Bush won his second consecutive stakes race when Finlandia ran down the game Sabellina to take the $150,000 for fillies and mares by a head. It was 4o1/2 lengths back to Rahys' Appeal, also trained by Bush.

It was the second win from six starts this year for Finlandia, who two starts back won the Yaddo Handicap at Saratoga.

Under Kent Desormeaux, Finlandia got a sweet trip in the Ticonderoga. She was sitting a clear third while Half Heaven and Sabellina dueled through fractions of 24.69 seconds, 48.46, and 1:13.76. Sabellina put Half Heaven away around the far turn and came into the stretch with a clear lead, but Finlandia was able to run her down in the final three strides.

Finlandia, a daughter of Royal Anthem owned by Nyala Farm, covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:51.56 over the yielding inner turf. Finlandia returned $8.60 as the favorite.

"Down the backside I thought it's just a matter of how far," Desormeaux said. "And when we cornered and I set her down she laid it down, and I was like: how in the world does [Sabellina] have anything left? From the three-sixteenths pole to four feet from the wire I thought she's not going to do it. The last three strides she just stuck her neck out. She knew what her job was and she got it done."