02/20/2004 12:00AM

Fit Performer has link to Carson Hollow


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - It's only fitting that trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. has one of the top contenders in Sunday's $60,000-added Carson Hollow Stakes at Aqueduct, a six-furlong race for fillies and mares.

Dutrow, who has entered , the likely favorite, trained Carson Hollow, a multiple graded stakes winner who died last summer from complications following colic surgery.

Fit Performer won the Interborough Handicap by 6 1/4 lengths on Jan. 1 and ran back 30 days later in the Correction Handicap, finishing second by a length to stablemate She's Zealous.

Julian Pimentel rides Fit Performer, who drew post 4. Fit Performer carries top weight of 124 pounds and concedes six to nine pounds to her rivals.

The horse to beat could be Chirimoya. Trained by Mike Hushion, Chirimoya had a tough trip in the Correction and finished fourth. Ridden by apprentice Tim Thornton Jr., Chirimoya was steadied down the backstretch and then split horses around the turn. She finished well on the outside and was beaten four lengths by She's Zealous, a horse that Chirimoya had beaten by a neck in her previous start in an allowance race.

Hushion has replaced Thornton with Richard Migliore, and Chirimoya has drawn post 2.

"I thought she ran a good race last time," Hushion said. "This [field] might be a half-notch lower."

Lavender Lass is coming off a 2 1/2-length win in a second-level allowance on Feb. 5 for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.

"She has really put it all together," said Art Magnuson, McLaughlin's assistant. "It's good timing to take a shot and get some black type with her."

Home Run Hitter's 2003 campaign was highlighted by a neck win over the talented Randaroo in the Smart Halo Stakes at Pimlico. Home Run Hitter's most recent wins have come against weaker company at Charles Town.

Cupid Season won the Just Smashing Stakes on the front end at The Meadowlands last October. In her next two starts, Cupid Season drew outside posts in big fields and finished sixth in The First Lady at Gulfstream and last in the Correction. She drew better here and will break from post 5.

Marc's Rainbow, a stakes winner over the inner track, hasn't run since finishing last in an optional claimer at Laurel Park on Dec. 28. Marc's Rainbow, who makes her first start for trainer Robert Ringhoff, is probably a better two-turn horse.