02/10/2003 1:00AM

Gulfstream: Native Heir pinch hits


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Trainer Mark Shuman had planned to run Out of Fashion in the $100,000 Deputy Minister Handicap at Gulfstream Park. But when Out of Fashion broke down following a recent morning workout, Shuman went to his bench and brought out Native Heir, who proved a more than ample substitute when she drew off to an easy 4 1/2-length victory in the Grade 3 sprint.

Native Heir ($20.80), who was claimed by owner Mike Gill from trainer Anthony Dutrow for $50,000 in September, ran 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:15.17, equaling the course record set by Federal Hill in 1957 and matched by Alydeed in 1993.

Under jockey Cornelio Velasquez, Native Heir sprinted to the lead, cutting out fractions of 21.41 and 43.54 seconds with Deer Lake and 4-5 favorite Gygistar in close pursuit. The fast pace was too much for the competition, but not for Native Heir, who increased his advantage once set down through the stretch.

"The secret to his success is that he wants the lead," said Shuman. "We opened the blinkers today and told the jockey to send him to the lead. This horse used to be a stakes horse and that's why we claimed him off Dutrow for $50,000 last year. Dutrow took a shot and lost him to us."

Binthebest and Fire and Glory rallied from the rear of the pack to finish second and third, respectively, while never threatening the winner. Gygistar, who was undefeated in five starts in 2002, finished a tiring fifth.