08/20/2006 11:00PM

Ferocious Won no sure thing


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - has already captured the opening two legs of the OTBs' Big Apple Triple for New York-breds and stands to win a $250,000 bonus if he can complete the sweep by winning Wednesday's $150,000 Albany Stakes at Saratoga.

But even though Ferocious Won figures to be a heavy favorite in the 1 1/8-mile Albany, trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. talks like his horse will need everything to break his way to win the race.

"He's going the right way, we've got that going for us," said Dutrow. "But this is no easy race, and I certainly don't see it as any slam dunk since he's carrying a lot of weight and the distance is probably a little further than he wants to go. No matter what he's already accomplished, everything still has to go right for him to win."

Ferocious Won will carry high weight of 124 pounds, earning his impost by virtue of his neck victory in Belmont's seven-furlong Mike Lee Stakes and his 1 3/4-length decision in the 1 1/16-mile New York Derby at Finger Lakes.

"Bush has a live one in there," Dutrow said, referring to trainer Thomas Bush's undefeated Run Red Run. "The others I'm confident we can beat. As for the bonus there's no pressure on me. I've done my job and have him prepared as best I can for the race. The real pressure is on the owners. They're the ones who make the money if he wins again."

Ferocious Won, a son of Lite the Fuse, is owned by Sanford Goldfarb, Ira Davis, and William Vidro.

Run Red Run is perfect in three starts, having won his maiden and entry-level allowance conditions at Belmont before shipping here to capture a second-level allowance race going 1 1/8 miles on Aug. 4.

"Rick's horse is far and away the most accomplished New York-bred to this point," said Bush, who has won with 6 of 18 starters thus far at the meet. "My horse is going to have to come up with an 'A' race. I was glad to get that last race at a mile and one-eighth into him. It gives him a lot more conditioning and gives us a lot more confidence about the distance."

Completing the lineup are Always Albert, a winner of his last two starts for trainer Nick Zito, Shuffling Madness, runner-up in the New York Derby, Dreamin of Victory, Indian Hawke, and Herbert T.