Yesterday's $44,450 Bushnell Stakes at Laurel featured a rematch between King's Snow and Sean's Ferrari, the 2-year-old colt who on Maryland Million Day produced a dramatic victory for sportscaster Jim McKay, his owner and Maryland Million founder. Yesterday, the 10,193 at Laurel made King's Snow a 9-to-10 favorite to avenge his narrow loss to Sean's Ferrari and take the $28,893 winner's share. They were half right.

King's Snow outlasted Sean's Ferrari, but finished third. Philadelphia Park-based Geaux Tiger wore down King's Snow and went on to a three-length victory over late-running Rugged Emperor. Sean's Ferrari, wide most of the 6 1/2-furlong race, finished eighth of nine horses.

Geaux Tiger, a 7-to-1 shot, broke quickly from post 2, then was joined on the inside by King's Snow, ridden by Kent Desormeaux.

"I wasn't afraid to press King's Snow," said winning jockey Buck Thornburg. "He'd done most of his winning with a clear lead."

Going the first quarter-mile in 22 3/5 seconds, the two opened a two-length lead over Natural Disaster and Sean's Ferrari. Geaux Tiger shadowed King's Snow into the turn, where Thornburg said he knew the race was his.

"I was gonna let {King's Snow} go on, but he couldn't outrun me," Thornburg said. "I felt like if I let my horse go, I could open up on him anytime."

He took the opportunity at the three-eighths pole, easing past King's Snow on the outside, getting clear, then angling toward the rail at the top of the stretch.

By midstretch, it appeared King's Snow would have enough to hold second. But Rugged Emperor, who earlier had trailed by about 18 lengths, was surging on the far outside under Donald Miller Jr.'s strong encouragement. Traveling the final 3/16ths of a mile in :30 3/5, Rugged Emperor defeated King's Snow by a half-length for the place.

"I couldn't get him to run at all at the beginning," Miller said. "He's had 10 races, but he's still a little immature."

Geaux Tiger's victory endorsed trainer Dennis Heimer's handling. After winning his debut at Monmouth Park in July, Geaux Tiger bruised a foot, and Heimer laid him off almost three months. He was third in his return at Pimlico three weeks ago, then led wire to wire in a $50,000 claiming race at the Meadowlands. His six-furlong time of 1:11 2/5 convinced Heimer that the Bushnell was within his limits, and the Limit To Reason colt went 6 1/2 furlongs yesterday in 1:19 3/5.

The feat was made more impressive by Geaux Tiger's ability to outrun King's Snow after going a half-mile in :46 1/5. King's Snow, after winning three stakes in his first four races, has failed to win his last two.

"He got real good early and was at his best before the other horses were," Desormeaux said. "He's still a good horse; the others have just caught up to him."

And, yesterday, Geaux Tiger went past.