The sun came out midway through the card and dried out the track, changing the surface rating from muddy to fast.
Oliver's Twist had command for more than a mile, running easily on the lead with a leisurely pace.
But the Preakness runner-up couldn't fight off the late charge of My Manuscript, who overtook him in the final 16th of a mile to win the $100,000 Governor's Cup by 3 1/4 lengths at Laurel Park yesterday.
There were no excuses for Oliver's Twist, the 1-2 favorite who was making his third start after being eased in the Ohio Derby on June 17.
"I can't give any excuse," said Alberto Delgado, the regular rider of Oliver's Twist. "He was running well and we were just galloping. He raced a good race. He just got beat. I'm disappointed. He's no Cigar, but he's still a very nice horse."
The scratches of Short Stay and Electric Lux left the field devoid of real speed and Oliver's Twist went to the lead because there was no one to beat him to it.
"I got away with some real slow fractions (24 2/5, 48 and 1:12 1/5) and he opened up nicely when I asked him," Delgado said. "I was very surprised to see a horse go by him."
As Delgado noted, however, My Manuscript "is no bum."
Jockey Frank Douglas bided his time on the winner, running a comfortable fourth after six furlongs, then he geared up Phyllis Susini's consistent colt for the drive of the 1 1/8 -mile test.
"There was no speed in the race, so we were all bunched up," said Douglas. "When it was time to go, he responded and took off on the outside."
That's nothing new for My Manuscript, who has never been worse than third (one disqualification excepted) in 10 career outings and is now 4-for-6 under Douglas, who fits him well. It was the second straight stakes victory for the son of Notebook.
Trainer Gary Capuano said he gave Douglas leeway to judge the pace as the jockey saw fit and adjust accordingly.
"I wasn't really surprised Oliver's Twist went to the lead," said Capuano. "He's been running horses who run quicker fractions and somebody had to be in front.
"But I left it up to Frankie, who rides him very well. They're two of a kind. They both try hard."
Capuano said My Manuscript will probably run next in the $75,000 Annapolis Handicap at Laurel on Nov. 25.
Aberfoyle ($16.60) upset Crumpton and Fireside Brass in the $35,000 Retirement Home for Horses Stakes. The field was reduced to four by three scratches. . . . Laurel's post time switches to 12:30 p.m., beginning today. . . . The handle of $5,714,569 marked an increase of more than 20 percent over last year's Breeders' Cup day.