11/04/2002 12:00AM

Added Edge makes believers at Big A


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Seeing is believing.

Added Edge won his first three starts by a combined margin of 22 lengths. But because he did it elsewhere, in this case at Woodbine in Toronto, the impact was muted. He was the second choice at 5-2 in Saturday's $109,700 Nashua Stakes for 2-year-olds at Aqueduct, while Boston Bull, who won the recent Cowdin by four lengths in front of the hometown folks, was favored at 4-5.

Boston Bull set the pace and jockey John Velazquez was able to slow it down, getting the half-mile in 46.83 seconds. But when Added Edge came to him in the upper stretch, the favorite was unable to hold him safe, and Added Edge was the winner by more than two lengths, with Outer Reef second and Boston Bull third.

Many of those seeing Added Edge in action for the first time must have been impressed. Barry Irwin and his Team Valor organization were impressed even earlier, having purchased a two-thirds interest from Indianapolis developer Robert J. Wilson after the colt's first race on Aug. 8.

Trainer Mark Casse bought Added Edge for Wilson last April, paying $27,000 at the Ocala Breeders sale for for this lanky, leggy son of the Mr. Prospector stallion Smart Strike. Smart Strike, who stands at Lane's End Farm in Kentucky, is the sire of Tenpins and other good stakes winners.

"The Nashua was a good race for Added Edge," Casse said. "It was the first time he was ever hit, after what were essentially three easy races at Woodbine. Now he goes to our farm in Ocala for a month of holiday, and then we'll bring him to Gulfstream for some 3-year-old racing to see if he is a Derby colt. The emphasis will be on patience. We purposely avoided consideration of the Breeders' Cup."

Casse grew up in racing, managing his father's farm in Ocala while in his teens. He took out a trainer's license at 18, and his first customer was Wilson. Casse, whose father, Norman, is president of Ocala Breeders Sales Company, served as general manager of the huge Mockingbird Farm operation of Harry Mangurian. With Mangurian retiring, Casse has joined the group that is planning a similar venture under the name of Sez Who.

Dawn of the Condor in bold victory

Blinkers apparently are the key to Dawn of the Condor, who made a daring dash along the inside to upset Saturday's $150,000 Knickerbocker Handicap on the turf course.

A 5-year-old gelding by Twining, Dawn of the Condor was transferred to trainer Gary Sciacca's barn during the summer.

Several weeks ago, Sciacca tried him with blinkers and he won, finishing strongly. He raced a bit wide in a subsequent appearance but Sciacca closed the cups a little more for the Knickerbocker, and Dawn of the Condor produced an electrifying move that carried the day.

Jorge Chavez permitted Dawn of the Condor to find his best stride in the Knickerbocker, saving ground all the way. With traffic light, he made steady progress. As he thundered to the leaders in the stretch, a narrow opportunity presented itself. The crowd gasped at the audacity of the move, then watched with keen interest as Condor got through to win by two lengths.

Dawn of the Condor is owned by Jim Hindman, a Maryland breeder. Several years ago, Sciacca purchased Hindman's first homebred and did well with him. Hindman said that he would like to race a horse with Sciacca someday, and Dawn of the Condor turned out to be the horse.