02/20/2006 1:00AM

Big Apple Daddy gets up


On a card where front-runners won 8 of 9 races, Big Apple Daddy stormed home from off the pace to run down Introspect and win the $70,850 Hollie Hughes Handicap by 2 1/4 lengths.

Introspect held second by a head over Melodeeman. Casper Peterson, Bold Decision, Storm Boot Gold, and Oz also ran.

It was the first stakes win in nine tries for Big Apple Daddy, a son of Precise End owned by Ervin Rodriguez and trained by Bruce Levine.

Big Apple Daddy, under Orlando Mojica, was squeezed back to last a few strides out of the gate. After saving some ground down the backside, Big Apple Daddy swung wide for the stretch and caught Introspect inside the sixteenth pole. Big Apple Daddy ran the six furlongs in 1:11.49 and returned $4.70 as the favorite.

"I thought this was the most impressive race he's won,'' Levine said.

Though Big Apple Daddy is 3 for 5 on the inner track, Levine indicated it was unlikely he would run him back in the Grade 3, $100,000 Toboggan Handicap at six furlongs on March 11.