11/28/2003 12:00AM

Aqueduct: Randaroo upsets in Top Flight


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Two days before Friday's $150,000 Top Flight Handicap at Aqueduct, trainer Tony Dutrow said the race's mile distance would suit his filly, Willa on the Move, but would be a stumbling block for Randaroo, a filly he previously trained.

Dutrow was dead wrong about Randaroo.

Randaroo won the Grade 2 Top Flight by two lengths over Beauty Halo, who finished 3 1/4 lengths in front of the third-place finisher, Pocus Hocus. Willa on the Move, the 6-5 favorite in the 12-horse field of fillies and mares, was 10th.

Randaroo, who was ridden by Heberto Castillo Jr., pressed Beauty Halo, who set the pace through fractions of 23.39 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 46.48 for the half. Randaroo owned a short lead after six furlongs in 1:10.79. Beauty Halo reluctantly gave way to Randaroo in the final furlong.

Randaroo ($20.40) covered the distance in 1:36.49 over a track that was labeled fast but had some moisture in it from on-and-off rain that fell during the card.

Castillo said he never doubted Randaroo's ability to get the distance.

"My job was easy, riding a filly like that," Castillo said.

Edgar Prado, who rode Willa on the Move, said his mount lost her tongue-tie, a piece of cloth that prevents a horse from playing with her tongue, in the post parade.

"She was going good until I had to ride her," Prado said.

With her win in the Top Flight, Randaroo has won graded stakes in her last three starts, all for Kiaran McLaughlin, who began training Randaroo in September for owner Joe Allen. Dutrow previously trained Randaroo for Allen.

"[Castillo] gave her a great ride," McLaughlin said. "I didn't want him to move too soon and he didn't."