02/16/2004 1:00AM

Austin's Mom takes Rare Treat


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Austin's Mom proved that her upset win in last month's Grade 3 Affectionately was no fluke when she posted a 1 3/4-length win over U K Trick in the $81,600 Rare Treat Handicap at Aqueduct on Monday before a holiday crowd of 5,049.

In the ungraded Rare Treat, Austin's Mom was the 4-5 favorite among the field of seven fillies and mares. She returned $25 after winning the Affectionately by 5 1/2 lengths on Jan. 17.

In the 1 1/8-mile Rare Treat, Austin's Mom came from off the pace under jockey Pablo Fragoso. With a strong move on the rail, Austin's Mom drew away in the final furlong. Austin's Mom carried 118 pounds as the highweight.

Golden Damsel, the second choice, set the pace through easy fractions of 24.14 seconds, 49.37, and 1:14.58 before tiring in the stretch and finishing fifth. Biogio's Beauty finished third, 5 1/4 lengths behind U K Trick. Consort Music was fourth.

Austin's Mom ($3.70) covered the distance in 1:52.67 over a fast track.

Last summer, Len Friedman and his partners, Jan Nilsen and Brom Keifetz, privately purchased Austin's Mom. Since the purchase, Austin's Mom, a 4-year-old trained by Allen Iwinski, has won 4 of 5 starts.

Iwinski said he wanted Austin's Move, who drew post 5, to find her way to the rail in the Rare Treat.

"She was training great. My only concern was getting the rail," Iwinski said. "There was a rail bias, and we were compromised in some of our races today. Rail horses have been staying steady and going on. That's basically what I told [Fragoso]."

Fragoso said he felt very confident during the running of the Rare Treat.

"I was looking at the horses in front of me, and I knew I had a lot of horse," Fragoso said. "She was galloping."