08/17/2007 11:00PM

Zoobstick puts his neck in front


Zoobstick chased and then ran down the pacesetting Bar Harbor in the final strides to post a neck victory in Saturday's $50,000 American Dreamer Stakes at Calder.

Notice Me Now finished third following a wide trip.

Zoobstick, a 3-year-old son of Groomstick owned and bred by trainer Jerry Bozzo, led throughout to capture the restricted Gray Pride Stakes for registered roans and grays in his previous start. In the one-mile American Dreamer, jockey Eduardo Nunez allowed Zoobstick to settle off Bar Harbor, who set slow fractions, then dug in determinedly once set down for the drive. But despite failing to change leads until inside the sixteenth pole, Zoobstick continued on willingly and eventually overtook the stubborn leader nearing the wire.

Pop Goes the Tiger, the 9-5 favorite, broke last, lagged off the relatively soft pace and was never a factor, finishing a well-beaten fifth in a field of nine 3-year-olds.

Zoobstick covered the distance in 1:40.01 over a fast track and paid $11.80.