09/13/2002 11:00PM

Carson Hollow easy Floral Park winner


ELMONT, N.Y. - Carson Hollow, the 1-2 favorite, dominated Saturday's $103,400 Floral Park Handicap at Belmont Park and is now headed for a date with the boys in the Breeders' Cup Sprint at Arlington Park on Oct. 26.

Under jockey John Velazquez, Carson Hollow set a reasonable pace and had plenty left at the finish of the Grade 3 Floral Park. Carson Hollow was a 2 1/4-length winner over Gold Mover, the second choice and the winner of last year's Floral Park. It was another 2 1/4 lengths back to Shiny Band in third. Marquet, who bled, finished last in the four-horse field. La Galerie was scratched in the morning.

Carson Hollow ($3) jumped out to a clear early lead and was not pressured while setting fractions of 22.50 seconds, 45.99, and 57.92 on her way to covering six furlongs in 1:10.25 over a track labeled fast.

Mark Hennig, the trainer of Gold Mover, said her chances were hurt when La Galerie, who has early speed, was scratched, which allowed the winner to go unchallenged on the lead.

Velazquez said the win aboard Carson Hollow was as easy as it gets.

"She broke really sharp today," Velazquez said. "I wished she broke like that [in the Test Stakes] at Saratoga. I just tapped her a few times on the shoulder to get her attention down the lane."

Carson Hollow carried 117 pounds as the co-highweight with Gold Mover.

Frank Stronach bought controlling interest in Carson Hollow, a New York-bred, before her second-place finish in the Grade 1 Test Stakes at Saratoga - her only career loss from six starts.

Carson Hollow's trainer, Richard Dutrow Jr., said the 3-year-old Carson City filly will point to the Breeders' Cup Sprint, a race fillies have a history of running well in.

"She ran big today," Dutrow said. "She relaxed so well with Johnny. She took off when he asked her. The track has been playing awfully dead lately and to run a half so slow, it has to do with the track."

The Floral Park was Carson Hollow's first win against older fillies and mares.