01/29/2004 12:00AM

Dutrows have company in Correction


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Trainer Tony Dutrow had this to say about Fit Performer's 6 1/4-length win in the Interborough Handicap on Jan. 1: "I thought my little brother could have taken it easier on me."

Dutrow was referring to Richard Dutrow Jr., Fit Performer's trainer. Tony Dutrow saddled the favorite in the Interborough, Elegant Designer, who finished third.

square off again in Saturday's $75,000 Correction Handicap at Aqueduct, but the Dutrows have more to worry about than each other in the six-furlong Correction. A competitive group of fillies and mares, including several coming off winning efforts, make up the nine-horse field.

Fit Performer, the 117-pound Correction highweight, stalked the speed and powered away in the stretch in the Interborough. She paid $13.20, a generous price for a Richard Dutrow-trained horse at the inner-track meet.

"The horses that were supposed to run good that day didn't run their races and [Fit Performer] did," said Richard Dutrow.

Julian Pimentel rides Fit Performer, who drew post 3.

Richard Dutrow will also run She's Zealous, who finished second to Chirimoya in a third-level allowance race Jan. 14. She's Zealous, who was shuffled back on the rail around the turn, gained a narrow lead in deep stretch but was run down by Chirimoya. She's Zealous carried 123 pounds in that race and drops to 113 here.

"I was disappointed in She Zealous's last race," Richard Dutrow said. "Even though she might not have had the best trip, she had the chance to win. I'm running back here because there always will be [allowance races] out there."

Mike Luzzi rides She's Zealous, who is not coupled in the wagering with Fit Performer.

A horse who could be sitting on a big race is Cupid Season, a winner of five of 10 starts last year. In her first race this year, Cupid Season met a tough field in the Grade 3 the First Lady Handicap at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 11 and finished sixth.

Balmy upset the Garland of Roses in her last start Dec. 13. John Servis, Balmy's trainer, said he is using the Correction as a stepping-stone to the $200,000 Barbara Fritchie at Laurel Park on Feb. 14. Servis said bad weather has compromised his training routine with Balmy.

"I missed a lot of training, and she's not 100 percent going in, but I needed to run her before the Fritchie," Servis said.

Reine de Neiges, a winner of her last four starts and a half-sister to champion Snow Chief, adds more speed to the mix.