08/21/2006 12:00AM

Gold Like U best in Union Avenue

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Gold Like U didn't give her connections the best vibes heading into Monday's Union Avenue Stakes at Saratoga, but she was good enough to win anyway.

Gold Like U, the most accomplished filly in the race, wore down a stubborn pacesetting Sweet Sweet to win the $72,000 Union Avenue for New York-bred fillies and mares by one length. It was 1 3/4 lengths back to Fighting Speedy in third.

Trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. said Gold Like U's last breeze heading into the Union Avenue was "awful," which gave him some cause for concern. But Dutrow couldn't find anything wrong with Gold Like U thereafter, so he decided to run her.

Under Edgar Prado, Gold Like U broke sharply from her outside post, and Prado allowed her to stay well out in the middle of the track in second place behind Sweet Sweet. Entering the far turn, Prado guided Gold Like U over to Sweet Sweet, and the battle was joined from that point until inside the sixteenth pole, when Gold Like U began to edge away.

Gold Like U ($3.30), a 5-year-old daughter of Gold Token, covered the six furlongs in 1:10.04.