02/11/2006 12:00AM

Achilles of Troy wins, nice and easy

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Adam Coglianese
Achilles of Troy, Ramon Dominguez up, rolls to a 4 3/4-length win in Saturday's Whirlaway.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Heavily favored Achilles of Troy was running so easily for the first six furlongs of Saturday's at Aqueduct that his jockey, Ramon Dominguez, wondered if his horse would respond when asked.

Dominguez's fears were soon allayed when he asked Achilles of Troy to run turning for home and Achilles of Troy accelerated past the pace-setting One Way Flight and drew off to a 4 3/4-length victory in the $70,915 Whirlaway at snowy Aqueduct. One Way Flight held second, six lengths ahead of Rob'em Blind.

It was the third consecutive victory for Achilles of Troy, who confirmed himself as New York's top Kentucky Derby prospect. Last month, Achilles of Troy won the Count Fleet Stakes by 14 lengths. He is the sixth horse to win both stakes.

"That was nothing more than an open gallop," said Ernie Paragallo, who heads the family-owned Paraneck Stable, which owns Achilles of Troy.

Breaking from post 6 under Dominguez, Achilles of Troy raced within a length of One Way Flight through a quarter in 23.08 seconds and a half-mile in 46.82.

Dominguez went after One Way Flight leaving the three-furlong marker and took the lead straightening away down the lane. Dominguez spanked Achilles of Troy three times with his right-handed stick, and he opened up a 3 1/2-length lead by the eighth pole. Inside the sixteenth pole, Dominguez geared down Achilles of Troy, who won with his ears pricked. He switched back to his wrong lead just as he crossed the finish line. Achilles of Troy ($2.60), trained by Jennifer Pedersen, covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.28.

"Around the three-eighths pole I wasn't sure if he was going to fire because he was that relaxed," Dominguez said. "Once I got to the top of the lane and got after him a little bit, he just went on and finished up pretty nice. When I realized I was clear enough that I wasn't going to get beat, I eased up on him. His response was to take it easy. He's just a very professional horse."

Paragallo said Achilles of Troy would ship to the Classic Mile Training Center in Ocala, Fla., early this week and be pointed to either the Fountain of Youth on March 4 or the Florida Derby on April 1. Both races are at Gulfstream Park.

"Now he'll go and tackle, I guess, the big boys," Paragallo said. "I'd like for somebody to tell me who they are."