Festive Mood gamely responded to the urging of Gregg McCarron to win the $25,000-added Preston Burch Stakes at Bowie Race Course today in a three-way photo over Resound and Chati. Festive Mood's winning margin was a neck while Resound closed fast to edge Chati in the final stride.

Festive Mood, a 8-year-old gelded son of Johns Joy, paid a liberal $20,60 to win after running the 1-1/16 miles in a moderate 1:45-2/5.

Trainer Richard Small, responding to the query as to why Festive Mood had run so poorly in his last start at the Meadowlands track in New Jersey, said, "Just say that he's like me - he doesn't like to run at night."

Owner Sally Gibson said. "This was Festive Mood's 24th win in 140 career starts. It was his seventh stakes win, which is all the more remarkable when you consider he didn't win his first added-money event until he was 6 years old. I'm so proud of him."

Pistol White took the early lead under Herb Hinojosa, but gave way readily when challenged by Chati, which opened up what appeared to be a commanding lead entering the stretch. But Festive Mood kept plugging along while on the rail and nailed Chati within the shadow of the wire. Resound's late run from the outside was impressive but fell short.