05/06/2006 12:00AM

Trickey Trevor plays waiting game

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Trickey Trevor rallies in the run down the backstretch to score an easy three-length victory over With Distinction in the Churchill Downs Breeders' Cup Handicap on Saturday at Churchill Downs.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer and jockey Russell Baze did not plan on taking Trickey Trevor off the pace in Saturday's $200,000 . But Baze's impromptu strategy paid big dividends after Trickey Trevor rallied from third place in the run down the backstretch to score an easy three-length victory over With Distinction.

Trickey Trevor has rarely been outrun for the early lead during a career that has now produced 18 wins from 35 starts. But after breaking alertly from post 9, Baze opted to ease Trickey Trevor back off defending champion Battle Won and With Distinction, who dueled on the front end through fractions of 22.52 and 45.21 seconds in the seven-furlong Grade 2 stakes.

Trickey Trevor moved three wide to join the leaders approaching the stretch, forged to command at the head of the lane, and increased his advantage through the final furlong. With Distinction ultimately won his early battle with Battle Won before losing the war to Trickey Trevor but did hold on willingly to finish second, a neck in front of the late-striding Level Playingfield. Battle Won, the tepid 5-2 favorite, weakened badly in the final furlong and finished fifth in a field reduced to 10 following the late scratch of Vicarage.

Trickey Trevor, who set the pace before finishing a tiring seventh in the 2005 Churchill Downs Handicap, was time in 1:21.68 over a fast track and paid $21.

"Russell told me our horse broke so fast he thinks it made the other two go faster than they wanted after the start," Hollendorfer said, referring to Battle Won and With Distinction. "So he decided to lay back, let his horse relax, and right now that seems to have been a very good choice. I wasn't confident he could run that kind of style and still win. In fact, I thought we might pop out and get a soft lead, although that rarely happens around here."