04/04/2006 11:00PM

Dutrow high on New York Hero


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - New York Hero has not run since last August, and has lost 16 consecutive races, the last four by a combined 101 1/4 lengths. But to listen to trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. talk, there isn't any other horse you'd want to wager on in Friday's feature at Aqueduct.

"I can't wait to watch him run," Dutrow said. "If he gets a good trip, he's going to run big."

is one of five horses entered in a $58,000 classified allowance race scheduled for one mile on the main track. New York Hero is one of two winners of the Lane's End Stakes in this field. New York Hero won it in 2003, and Sinister G took it in 2005.

Dutrow took over the training of New York Hero last fall after his previous trainer, Jennifer Pedersen, said she couldn't find why the horse was running so poorly. Dutrow had the horse examined by Dr. Steve Allday, who found a chip in a knee and had it taken out surgically.

"How could he be any good if it's in there and it's bothering him, so he took it out," Dutrow said. "A lot of times it doesn't work. Right now it's worked with him. He's good right now."

New York Hero's work tab is littered with seven consecutive bullet moves, including a half-mile drill in 46.97 seconds on Monday.

"He's doing it on his own - you know that's not my game," Dutrow said of the fast works.

Dutrow is so confident in New York Hero that he believes if the horse runs well on Friday, he could make his next start in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park on May 29.

The one caveat regarding New York Hero on Friday is his wet-track record. He is 0 for 5 on off tracks, and rain is in the forecast.

The horse to beat on a dry or wet surface is . A 6-year-old son of Saint Ballado, Bahama John is 3 for 4 over Aqueduct's main track and 2 for 3 over wet surfaces. Last April, Bahama John won a second-level allowance race by eight lengths over a wet main track. He, too, shows a bullet work for this, working five furlongs in 1:00.45 on Monday at Belmont.

Malibu Moonshine was a multiple stakes-winning 3-year-old of 2005. He is 2 for 2 in one-turn mile races and stretches out from six furlongs in his second start off a layoff for trainer Tom Albertrani.

Kennel Up, who goes turf to dirt for Allen Jerkens, completes the field.