04/24/2004 11:00PM

West Virginia comes to Times Square


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - West Virginia kept his bonus hopes alive with a nose decision over Pay Attention in the $150,000 Times Square at Aqueduct on Sunday. With his victories in November's Great White Way at Aqueduct and the Times Square, West Virginia is eligible to earn a $100,000 bonus for his owners and breeders, Don and Mary Zuckerman, if he wins the $250,000 Cab Calloway Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 4.

In the one-mile Times Square, a race restricted to 3-year-olds by New York stallions, West Virginia contested the pace with Strider's Ormsby. Around the turn, Strider's Ormsby faded and West Virginia, under jockey John Velazquez, swept to the lead and held off a strong challenge from Pay Attention in deep stretch.

Pay Attention, who had three consecutive wins at Aqueduct before the Times Square, finished 2 1/2 lengths in front of Chowder's First, who was third in the 11-horse field.

West Virginia, a son of Tomorrows Cat, covered the distance in 1:39.04 over a fast track.

The win provided Velazquez with his sixth victory in 11 runnings of the Times Square.

Trained by Todd Pletcher, West Virginia returned $4 as the favorite.

With his win in the Times Square, West Virginia remains unbeaten in three restricted stakes. He has a record of 4-0-1 in seven starts and earnings of $262,405.

* In the 150,000 Park Avenue, a division of the New York Stallion Stakes for 3-year-old fillies, Ihaveadate led from start to finish for a 4 1/2-length win over Judy Soda.

Under Shaun Bridgmohan, Ihaveadate, the 3-2 favorite in the six-horse field, drew off in the stretch in the one-mile Park Avenue. Ihaveadate ($5) completed the distance in 1:39.93.

Trained by Mike Hernandez, Ihaveadate, a daughter of Take Me Out, is owned and bred by Chester and Mary Broman.