02/28/2004 12:00AM

Distance not a problem for Binya

Binya, who had never raced past 1 1/8 miles, captures The Very One Handicap over 1 3/8 miles at Gulfstream.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Binya proved that distance is no problem and that she will be a more than suitable replacement for her recently retired stablemate, Volga.

Binya, who hadn't raced beyond nine furlongs in her 10-race career, galloped to a 2 1/2-length victory in Saturday's Grade 3, $100,000 at Gulfstream Park. Ocean Silk held off Boana by a half-length for second in the 1 3/8-mile turf marathon.

A 5-year-old German-bred daughter of Royal Solo, Binya began her career in Europe, where she had won three of nine starts but had not raced beyond one mile. She won a third-level allowance race here on Jan. 16 at nine furlongs.

"She appears to want to run further than seven or eight furlongs, that's what we thought, so we started off at nine," trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said. "When we decided not to run [Volga], we just wanted to give this filly a shot, because she appears to do anything we ask.

I think you could cut her back to a mile next week and she'd be very difficult to beat."

Under John Velazquez, Binya settled nicely into second as May Gator was intent on getting the lead under Jorge Chavez. Velazquez let her gallop along until upper stretch, when she shot to the front and drew off impressively. Binya was timed in 2:07.67 over a turf course labeled firm, and returned $6.20.

Velazquez said that he believes that Binya could even get 1 1/2 miles, which she will be asked to do in the Grade 2, $200,000 Orchid Handicap on March 21.

"If she relaxed the way she did today, she'll go all day," Velazquez said.

The victory was the fourth stakes win of the meet for McLaughlin, who has won with 11 of his 23 starters at the meet. Three of his four stakes wins have come for owner Joe Allen.

- There were two winning tickets in the pick six, each returning $230,132. There was a carryover of $170,985 entering the day. One winning ticket was purchased ontrack, and the other through the Lewiston, Maine, hub.

The winning sequence of 2-1-6-7-8-11 consisted of Calends ($5), Lucifer's Stone ($9.40), Bada Bam Bada Boom ($15.20), Personal Touch ($16.20), Binya ($6.20), and Call Me Shane ($86.80).