01/13/2007 12:00AM

Great Intentions pulls off stretchout


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - After watching Great Intentions get away with an opening half-mile in 48.07 seconds under Norberto Arroyo Jr. in Saturday's Affectionately Handicap, trainer Mike Hushion knew that the success or failure of this two-turn experiment would rest solely with him.

"At that point I kind of said to myself 'I can't blame it on the jock from here, I guess it's on my shoulders the last half,' " Hushion said.

Hushion didn't need to assign blame anywhere, as Great Intentions, making her first start beyond seven furlongs, held on for a neck victory over the late-closing Homerette in the $70,590 Affectionately Handicap at Aqueduct. It was another neck back to Victory Pool in third.

Great Intentions was running back just 12 days after finishing fourth in the Interborough Handicap.

Breaking from post 5, Great Intentions got away alertly and carved out fractions of 24.41 seconds, 48.07, and 1:12.69 while Bobcat Greeley sat just off her flank. Great Intentions put away Bobcat Greeley around the turn, opened up a seemingly insurmountable lead in the stretch, and just held off a hard-charging Homerette, who was ridden by Jean-Luc Samyn.

Great Intentions, a 5-year-old daughter of Cat Thief owned by Barry Schwartz, covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.35 and returned $4.40 as the favorite.

"She's a pretty 'rammy' type of horse; she's always go-go and everything's forward," Hushion said. "[Arroyo] did a nice job under the circumstances. As far as I'm concerned there's nobody riding better than him right here right now.''

Homerette, who was fifth of six early, rallied strongly in the stretch.

"It's a shame to just get beat that little, but we were lucky we saved all the ground that we could," Samyn said. "We just turned her loose and we kind of missed."

Hushion wasn't sure where Great Intentions would run next, but one possible spot is the Grade 2, $300,000 Barbara Fritchie Handicap at Laurel Park on Feb. 17.