10/15/2008 11:00PM

Dutrow runners dominate two sprints


ELMONT, N.Y. - Rick and Tony Dutrow will try to keep the Hudson and Iroquois handicaps all in the family, sending out five of the six highest-weighted horses in the $125,000 races for sprinters on Showcase Day.

Rick Dutrow sends out Stormin Normandy in the Hudson, and the uncoupled pair of Ice Cool Kitty and By the Light in the Iroquois. Tony Dutrow saddles co-highweights Ferocious Fires and Premium Wine in the Hudson, who are also uncoupled.

The six-furlong Hudson (race 6) and the seven-furlong Iroquois (race 8) both drew fields of 11, each with a competitive mix of four 3-year-olds taking on older rivals.

In the Hudson, Ferocious Fires and Stormin Normandy square off for the first time since their one-two finish in last year's running, when Stormin Normandy finished first but was disqualified for drifting and carrying out Ferocious Fires in the stretch.

While both benefited from rain at Saratoga to win off-the-turf stakes, they have taken largely different paths during the past year. Stormin Normandy has been the more active, winning five of 10 subsequent starts, but showed signs of tailing off in two September outings. Ferocious Fires has made just four starts this year, winning twice, but his finest hour may have come in the Grade 1 Forego when beaten in a photo for second behind Breeders' Cup-bound First Defence.

"He's had some problems with a suspensory in his left hind leg," said Tony Dutrow. "It bothered him a bit before the Hudson last year and then again afterwards, so we gave him plenty of time. His race in the Forego was a good one, because things weren't perfect for him. He stumbled coming out of the gate and he just got beat for second. Right now, he couldn't be doing any better."

Premium Wine scored his biggest payday winning the $250,000 Gallant Bob Handicap last year, and his five losses this year have all come in graded stakes, highlighted by a close third in the Grade 1 Carter with a career-best 107 Beyer.

Tony Dutrow said he may opt to await next Saturday's Grade 3 Sport Page Handicap with Premium Wine.

The Hudson also attracted Rollers, a Barclay Tagg-trained $500,000 colt who won the recent Gallant Bob at Philadelphia Park, and stakes winners Megapixel and Law Enforcement, who were necks apart in an overnight stakes at Saratoga.

Iroquois: By the Light seeks rebound

By the luck of the draw, the four 3-year-old fillies in the Iroquois - My Dinah, By the Light, Jet Setting, and Under Serviced - drew the four outside posts.

By the Light, whose only loss from her first seven starts was a placing to Indian Blessing in the Grade 1 Prioress, will try to rebound after fading to fourth in the Grade 2 Fitz Dixon Cotillion four weeks ago.

Under Serviced, a $325,000 daughter of Hook and Ladder, overcame a bad stumble at the break to win the Schenectady Handicap on opening weekend, which ran her record to four wins from five starts for Bob Baffert.

"We figured we would just leave her in New York and take it one step at a time, while taking advantage of the New York program," said Baffert.

The one to beat is 121-pound highweight Talking Treasure, who took the measure of Ice Cool Kitty in a pair of Saratoga stakes for Finger Lakes-based trainer Charlie Baker.

Talking Treasure had a designed 54-day layoff after winning the seven-furlong Fleet Indian and the 1 1/8-mile Saratoga Dew, which improved her lifetime mark to 7 wins from 13 starts. The Ken and Sarah Ramsey homebred has been working steadily from the gate.

"She won't go without a pony," Baker explained. "To get her to work, she has to go to the gate. Once she's in the gate, she's all business, but working from a pole she'll just pull herself up. She's been training great, and is coming in as good as she's ever been."