02/23/2008 12:00AM

Valentine Fever up by a nose


Valentine Fever was up in the final jump Saturday to nail the race-long front-runner Love Buzz in the $50,000 Valdale Stakes at Turfway Park in Florence, Ky.

Sent away a clear-cut favorite, Valentine Fever ($5) appeared beaten in midstretch after racing closest for much of the one-mile trip to Love Buzz, a 14-1 shot who pulled several lengths clear under Dean Sarvis. But Valentine Fever, with Tommy Pompell up, persevered to the wire, and she was up by a nose to notch her second straight victory over the Turfway Polytrack.

Maryland shipper Lovers Spat rallied to finish third, a half-length behind the top pair in a field of 11 3-year-old fillies.

Valentine Fever, a Stormin Fever filly bred and owned by the Lloyd Madison Farms, finished in 1:39.44. The Greg Foley-trained filly, now 4 of 7 overall, was a romping winner of the Cincinnati Trophy Stakes in her previous start and was racing around two turns for the first time Saturday.