12/28/2001 12:00AM

Dutrow wins first year-end New York title


JAMAICA, N.Y. - When the 2001 New York racing season comes to a close after Sunday's ninth race at Aqueduct, trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. will have won his first year-end training title in New York.

Through Friday's card, Dutrow won

85 races from 341 starters, 14 more than Todd Pletcher, who held second place by a narrow margin over Bill Mott (69). Last year, Dutrow, a son of the late Dick Dutrow, a leading trainer in New York and Maryland, finished the year in third.

Dutrow's career-year has also turned out to be a season to remember for his main client, Sanford Goldfarb, who tops owners in New York this year in races won.

Dutrow, 42, spared few words regarding his successful 2001 and is already looking ahead to 2002.

"We had a pretty good year," Dutrow said Friday as he got ready to board a plane to New Orleans to saddle Silver Rail in the Furl Sail Handicap at the Fair Grounds later that afternoon. "But I'm really excited about next year. I've got some really nice babies for the Siegels and I expect to get more."

Dutrow and Jan, Mace, and Samantha Siegel teamed up to win the Gravesend Handicap here on Dec. 15 with Here's Zealous. It was Dutrow's first stakes win for the Siegels, for whom he began training a few years ago.

Another Siegel runner, In High Gear, a 2-year-old son of Golden Gear, is one of the horses Dutrow said he is pumped up about for 2002. In High Gear hasn't raced since his much-talked-about debut at Belmont Park in June in a five-furlong maiden race, which he won in a very quick 56.63 seconds. His Beyer Speed Figure of 104 was among the highest this year for a 2-year-old.

Last year, Dutrow tried out Southern California racing by sending a string there, in addition to maintaining his main stable in New York. He wasn't pleased with the results and is trying something different this winter, sending 16 horses to the Fair Grounds.

"It's a good climate, and since I don't like Florida and wasn't interested in that, this seemed like the best alternative for me," Dutrow said.

Feeling the Heat

Trainer Roy Sedlacek kept Folly Dollar out of the Garland of Roses earlier this month so he could duck powerhouse Xtra Heat, who ended up being scratched from the stakes.

Sedlacek isn't really all that anxious to run Folly Dollar against Grade 1 winner Xtra Heat, but if Tuesday's $75,000-added Interborough Handicap comes up with a short field, he'll probably give it a shot. And it looks as if the presence of Xtra Heat, the 125-pound Interborough highweight, will keep the field on the small side.

On Friday, the racing office listed only Carafe and With Ability as definite to face Xtra Heat. A few others, including graded winner Dat You Miz Blue, were considered. Dat You Miz Blue worked a half-mile in 48.48 seconds Friday at Belmont.

Folly Dollar, a terrific claim by Sedlacek and Blue Stork Stables for $30,000 a year ago, won three of her next four starts over the inner track after the claim. The 4-year-old ran a huge race in the spring at Aqueduct and nearly defeated Grade 1 winner Dream Supreme in the Grade 2 Distaff Breeders' Cup, finishing second, less than a length behind the winner.

Sedlacek was forced to give Folly Dollar the summer off to remove a chip from one of her ankles. The filly returned to the races in November and was fourth in a classified allowance race.

"She wasn't quite fit," Sedlacek. "I would prefer she had another race going into this because she needs to be at her best against this bunch."

Folly Dollar receives 11 pounds from Xtra Heat, but Sedlacek said, with a laugh, she might "need 20." Jokes aside, Folly Dollar's trainer hopes Xtra Heat will show signs of slowing down after her 13-start 2001 campaign, which yielded nine wins.

"Maybe Xtra Heat is not quite at her best now," Sedlacek.