08/17/2004 11:00PM

Tony James wins Gimcrack

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Tony James emerged as an early candidate for the 2005 Kentucky Derby on Wednesday after his victory in York's Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes.

An allowance winner first time out in May, Tony James revelled over the soft ground at York, defeating Andronikos by 1 1/4 lengths at odds of 16-1 and getting the six furlongs in 1:14.30 under Seb Sanders.

In the Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks, the late withdrawl of Ouija Board paved the way for Quiff's victory. Running for just the fourth time, Quiff won by 11 lengths over Pongee, covering the soggy 1 1/2 miles in 2:38.03.

Alan Cooper, the Niarchos family's racing manager, said Wednesday that Bago remains on course for the Breeders' Cup Classic and could run in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on Sept. 11.