07/16/2005 12:00AM

Finger Lakes: Accountforthegold does

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Accountforthegold made his first start in the state of his birth a winning one, taking the $168,400 Finger Lakes Derby for New York-bred 3-year-olds by three lengths. Gold and Roses finished second, 6 1/2 lengths in front of Naughty New Yorker, the 4-5 favorite, who closed from last to take third in the field of 10.

Accountforthegold ($24.60) had made all seven previous starts at Woodbine, where he had been training under Mark Casse. On Saturday, Accountforthegold went straight to the lead under Ray Sabourin, with Gold and Roses chasing him through fractions of 24.11 seconds, 47.53, and 1:12.09. Gold and Roses made a run at him in the lane, but Accountforthegold pulled away late under a hand ride. He covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.78 and earned $101,040 for his owner, Richard Simon.

The Finger Lakes Derby was the second leg of OTBs' Big Apple Triple, a three-race series of stakes for New York-bred 3-year-olds. Naughty New Yorker won the first leg, the Mike Lee at Belmont, and the final leg is the Albany Handicap at Saratoga on Aug. 24.