11/28/2008 12:00AM

Fabulous Strike uncatchable


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Trainer Todd Beattie still doesn't think the public has seen the best of Fabulous Strike. But if Beattie can keep the 5-year-old Fabulous Strike sound and healthy, perhaps we will.

Fabulous Strike certainly looked good Thursday, taking control soon after the start and leading all the way to record a 1 1/2-length victory in the $111,200 Fall Highweight Handicap before a Thanksgiving Day gathering of 3,239 at Aqueduct. He's So Chic rallied to get second by 3 1/2 lengths over Ferocious Fires.

The win was the 11th from 18 career starts for Fabulous Strike, whose most prestigious victory came in last year's Grade 1 Vosburgh at Belmont. Since then, Fabulous Strike has been limited to just four starts due to a severe respiratory illness and a foot problem.

He entered the Fall Highweight off a fifth-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Sprint, run over Santa Anita's synthetic surface. Ramon Dominguez, Fabulous Strike's regular rider, maintains his horse didn't like that surface.

"He's an extremely good, extremely talented horse on the dirt. He just wasn't the same last time,'' said Dominguez, who went 4 for 4 on Thursday's card. "He's got ability, even under pressure and with real fast fractions, to be able to finish up.''

In the Fall Highweight, Fabulous Strike ran an opening quarter in 22.19 seconds and a half-mile in 44.97 while being chased by Grand Champion, last year's Fall Highweight winner.

Turning for home, Fabulous Strike ran away from Grand Champion and came home in hand. He ran six furlongs in 1:09.02 while carrying 136 pounds. His time was the fastest in a Fall Highweight since Senor Speedy won in 1:08.62 while carrying 131 pounds in 1991.

"He likes the dirt track,'' Beattie said. "We're finally getting our ducks in order. I don't think we've seen the best of him. I've been saying that for a while. We never had smooth sailing to let him get to his best.''

Beattie, who is based at Penn National, plans to bring Fabulous Strike back to New York for the Grade 3 Gravesend here on Dec. 27.

* Earlier on the card, Dominguez guided Love Cove to a neck victory over Cagey Girl in the $69,650 Shopping for Love Stakes on turf. He replaced Javier Castellano, who is riding in this weekend's Japan Cup.