07/06/2002 12:00AM

Carson Hollow gives Dutrow first Grade 1 win


ELMONT, N.Y. - Carson Hollow, a New York-bred daughter of Carson City, passed her class test with flying colors Saturday, taking command soon after the start and drawing off to a two-length victory in the $200,000 at Belmont Park.

Spring Meadow chased Carson Hollow around the track and finished second, 2 1/4 lengths ahead of Proper Gamble. Completing the order of finish were Vesta, Wilzada, A New Twist, and Drippingindiamonds, the 5-2 favorite.

The victory was the first Grade 1 stakes score for trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. Dutrow's father won this race in 1986 with Religiosity and in 1988 with Fara's Team. Dutrow's brother, Anthony, won the 1987 Prioress with Firey Challenge.

Carson Hollow was undefeated in three career starts entering the six-furlong Prioress, but had not met anyone near the quality of the fillies she was facing in the Prioress, which included two graded stakes winners, Proper Gamble and Vesta, and an undefeated filly, Dripping-indiamonds.

Under John Velazquez, Carson Hollow set fractions of 22.04, 44.67, and 56.39 seconds. She stopped the clock in 1:08.79 for six furlongs. It's the second-fastest time in 55 runnings of the Prioress. Xtra Heat set the stakes record (1:08.26) last year.

"She was comfortable, you could see her ears are playing," Velazquez said. "I took a peek inside and [A New Twist] was there, so I dropped in and put her in a little bit of tight quarters and made sure I didn't leave too much room to let her through. After that, when I called on her, she responded."

Dutrow owns the horse along with Sanford Goldfarb, Hemlock Hills Farm, Gabrielle Farm, and Justine Zimmerman.

"I wasn't confident that she would run like this," Dutrow said. "I was confident she would run a good race, but to run against these horses when she hasn't beat anything at all - we took a shot and it worked out."

Carson Hollow will most likely make her next start in the Grade 1 Test Stakes on July 27 at Saratoga.