Trenchant stuck his neck in front of Semaj in the last two strides to capture the $117,700 Governor's Cup Handicap yesterday at Bowie. It was Trenchant's fourth straight victory.

Royal Roberto, the favorite with the crowd of 11,712, took a slight lead in midstretch, but was beaten by a neck for the place.

Trenchant is a New York-based son of Naskra and is trained by the highly respected Phil Johnson, who also celebrated his birthday while winning the richest race of Bowie's fall meeting.

Jockey Jean Luc Samyn, who had to make 108 pounds for the race, said, "Trenchant started to loaf until Royal Roberto passed him at the eighth pole and he dug in like a horse of quality."

The victory was worth $76,500 for Trenchant's owners and brought his career earnings over the $110,000 mark. The bay has won four of eight starts, all of them as a 3-year-old.

Dave Byrnes, the rider of Semaj, said, "The running was trouble free for all three of our horses. It was a tough loss for Semaj. We had him until the last two jumps."

The winner ran the 1 1/8 miles in a creditable 1:50 3/5 and paid $9 despite being listed at 15 to 1 on the program morning line. The exacta with Semaj, who ran coupled with two other horses as members of the field, was $219.40 on the numbers 3-12.