05/10/2008 12:00AM

Off the turf no problem for Hartigan


Hartigan ($2.80), part of a heavily favored entry in a field reduced to four runners when the race was moved from turf to the main track, ran down No Use Denying in deep stretch to post a half-length victory in the $48,500 Hilltop Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Pimlico.

Ridden by Luis Garcia for trainer Richard Small, Hartigan sat back in fourth, 3 1/2 lengths behind, while No Use Denying and Ocala Gator battled up front. Hartigan made a three-wide move at the quarter pole, took a half-length lead with a furlong remaining, and outfought No Use Denying in deep stretch to win while completing 1 1/16 miles over a "good" track in 1:46.24.

It was Hartigan's third win in 8 starts, but her first since taking the six-furlong Gin Talking on turf five starts ago in late September.