04/28/2006 11:00PM

Wiggins, 6, scores over statebreds


STICKNEY, Ill. - Wiggins might not be a graded-stakes horse, but even at age 6 he's still boss over Illinois-breds.

Sent last year from local trainer Tony Granitz to Kentucky, New York, and Florida-based Dale Romans for a shot at big-time stakes races, Wiggins came back to Chicago and easily won the Milwaukee Avenue Handicap on a drizzly Saturday at Hawthorne Race Course. Wiggins finished seventh, ninth, fourth, and seventh in his four tries in graded stakes, but he won the Illinois-bred High Alexander by almost five lengths here last fall, and was four lengths better than second-place Air Academy in the $105,650 . Owned by William Pacella, Joseph Rizza, and Ronald Schwed, Wiggins now has won 13 of 30 career starts with earnings now just shy of $700,000.

Pressing a moderate pace under Chris Emigh in the 1 1/16-mile Milwaukee Avenue, Wiggins ($4.40) took over at the top of the stretch and went on to the sharpest win among six Illinois-bred stakes here Saturday, stopping the timer in 1:44.81. Air Academy rallied wide on the turn, and while no match for the winner, held second by a length over longshot Storm Coming.

Peach of It: Meadow Bride rolls

Even as Meadow Bride trained along here during the dead of winter, trainer Richard Hazelton had circled the , and Meadow Bride was at her best Saturday for the $88,425 race.

Meadow Bride has now made 15 starts, but only five of them have come at two turns on dirt, and that is what this talented 4-year-old filly really wants to do. With a 2 3/4-length win in the Peach of It, Meadow Bride has won four of those route races, finishing second in her lone loss.

Saturday, she and jockey Carlos Silva avoided a logjam going into the first turn that sent Capistrano checking off heels and Modjadji racing up wide to contest an opening quarter-mile in 24.37 seconds and a half in 48.29. Meadow Bride sat fourth on the rail, while favored Toll Taker raced wide, making her move midway around the far turn. But while Toll Taker was flattening out, Meadow Bride was warming up. She made the lead before the eighth pole and had little trouble holding off Capistrano, who rallied well to finish two lengths in front of Sara's Tune. Meadow Bride paid $6.40 to win, and was timed in 1:46.05 for 1 1/16 miles.

Lady Hallie: It's Taylor Madison

Racing around two turns, Taylor Madison is just another 3-year-old filly. Racing at six furlongs, she became a stakes winner Saturday, taking the $97,715 by three-quarters of a length over Rich Fantasy.

Taylor Madison, trained by Mike Dini and ridden by Eddie Perez, ran six furlongs in 1:10.65, much faster than a 3-year-old colt and gelding stakes a race later, and only 0.04 second slower than the good older mare Bluesbdancing's winning time in the Governor's Lady Handicap.

Taylor Madison ($17.20) was coming off three two-turn races, fading during the stretch run in all of them. But Saturday, she was all heart, turning back favored Rich Fantasy, who might've poked her nose in front at the eighth pole. Unreal Rocket finished third.

Chicagoland: Silver Bid holds on

Silver Bid still has it. The 8-year-old gelding, his gray coat growing whiter by the day, won a three-horse battle for the lead and held off a late run from Johnathan to win the $107,450 Chicagoland Handicap by three-quarters of a length.

Silver Bid ($9.80) was winless in nine starts dating back to February 2005, and seemed to be showing his age during a streak of subpar performances the second half of last season, but longtime trainer Joel Berndt said his horse had perked up again this meet, and Silver Bid went out and proved it. With veteran rider Perry Compton up, Silver Bid broke sharply, made the lead between horses coming off the turn, and drove clear in the stretch, getting six furlongs in 1:10.93. Knowwhatimean rallied for third, while favored Take Achance on Me faded badly in deep stretch.

Governor's Lady: 'Blues' power

Bluesbdancing has never won a race as a favorite, and she kept her streak intact Saturday, but only because a late surge of betting action made Denoun N Deverb a narrow 5-2 choice in the $94,025 Governor's Lady. Denoun N Deverb made the lead and faded badly, finishing seventh, but Bluesbdancing put in a powerful final quarter-mile, beating Pretty Jenny by a length. Bluesbdancing paid $7.80.

Land of Lincoln: 'Union Scale' wins

Barely Union Scale scored a 10-1 upset in the $96,525 Land of Lincoln Stakes. Ridden by Eddie Perez for trainer Tom Swearingen, Barely Union Scale beat 14-1 shot Class N Charm by less than a length, with 11-1 Cart's Maybeoughta a head back in third.