02/14/2008 12:00AM

Dutrow brothers square off


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Brothers Tony and Richard Dutrow Jr. figure to get in each other's way frequently in stakes action this weekend, beginning with Saturday's $75,000 Hollie Hughes Handicap at Aqueduct.

In the six-furlong stakes for New York-breds, Tony Dutrow sends out Premium Wine against his brother's Stormin Normandy. Coincidentally, both horses were cross-entered for Monday's $300,000 General George Handicap at Laurel Park, but both are expected to run here. Stormin Normandy could conceivably run in both races.

A field of eight was entered for the Hollie Hughes, including Gold and Roses, Whistlin', Good Card, Indian Camp, Seeking the Glory, and Prince of Peace.

Premium Wine has finished first or second in 8 of 9 career starts, missing the exacta only in the Grade 3 Sport Page run over a sloppy track. The threat of rain in Maryland on Monday is the main reason Premium Wine will likely run here, Tony Dutrow said.

Premium Wine beat open company in the $250,000 Gallant Bob Handicap at Philadelphia Park last September. He ended his 3-year-old season with a victory in a second-level open allowance race over the inner track on Dec. 30 after finishing second to the Richard Dutrow Jr.-trained Silver Source in the same condition on Nov. 22.

"Premium Wine is in great shape, I couldn't be any happier with that horse," Tony Dutrow said. "His last two races were the best he has to offer. You have to respect Ricky's horse - he's a talented horse, he's fast, inner track, all that stuff. He's going to take some beating."

Ramon Dominguez rides Premium Wine from the rail.

Stormin Normandy has finished first in all four of his starts for Richard Dutrow, though he was disqualified from first for interfering with the Tony Dutrow-trained Ferocious Fires in the Hudson Handicap. Stormin Normandy is coming off a 1 1/4-length victory in a second-level statebred allowance going 5 1/2 furlongs on Jan. 12.

"I know that Stormin Normandy can beat Premium Wine," Richard Dutrow said. "I have to figure Stormin Normandy is the horse to beat in the New York-bred stakes. I'm happy enough with our horse."

Rudy Rodriguez will ride Stormin Normandy from post 5. He will likely have to deal with plenty of early pace pressure from horses including Whistlin', who comes off a game second to the undefeated Bustin Stones in the Promonroe overnight stakes on Jan. 21.

Gold and Roses, who breaks from post 8, finished third in the Promonroe and is looking to regain the form that has made him a multiple stakes-winning gelding of nearly $800,000.