09/05/2003 11:00PM

Zippy Chippy finishes 2nd at fair

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Career maiden Zippy Chippy lost for the straight 98th time but came the closest he has to winning in several years by finishing second in Saturday's first race at the Three County Fair in Northampton, Mass.

The 12-year-old gelding rolled to the lead under jockey Howard Lanci after breaking from the far outside post and held a five-length advantage at one point after another horse bore out and scattered the field. Short Notice and jockey Edgar Paucar avoided the tie-up, however, and steadily caught Zippy Chippy in the stretch to win by 1 1/2 lengths.

"I thought he was going to win," said owner-trainer Felix Monserrate. "He just got a little tired, but he turned in a good race. We'll be back next Sunday if everything goes okay."

Jockey Willie Belmonte, aboard third-place finisher Unblessed, claimed foul against Short Notice for the incident on the first turn. That put Zippy Chippy in position to be declared the winner, but the stewards disallowed the objection.