02/07/2009 12:00AM

Haynesfield cruises in Whirlaway


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Haynesfield continued his progression into a potential Kentucky Derby candidate Saturday with a professional 6 1/4-length victory in the $107,600 Whirlaway Stakes at Aqueduct.

Reverting to the front-running tactics that proved successful in the Damon Runyon Stakes in December, Haynesfield made a comfortable lead through fractions of 23.83 seconds, 47.81, and 1:11.86 for the opening six furlongs. He ran away from Peace Town turning for home and despite being eased up in the final sixteenth by jockey Ramon Dominguez, Haynesfield's final time of 1:44.48 for 1 1/16 miles was faster than his time of 1:44.65 for a mile and 70 yards in last month's Count Fleet.

Cellar Dweller rallied to be second, 3 1/2 lengths clear of Mike From Queens. Hehasnosay, Peace Town, and Zooger completed the order of finish.

The victory was Haynesfield's fourth straight since losing his debut last August at Saratoga. He added the Whirlaway to victories in the Damon Runyon and Count Fleet in January. He becomes the seventh horse to win both the Count Fleet and Whirlaway. One of the previous six was Prairie Bayou, who won the 1993 Preakness after finishing second in the Kentucky Derby.

The win capped a five-win day for Dominguez, the first five-win day for a rider on this circuit since Cornelio Velasquez did it on Nov. 1, 2007, on the main track. Dominguez went 5 for 6 on Saturday, and over a three-day period here he won 10 races from 19 mounts.

Haynesfield proved to be the easiest of Dominguez's five wins. Breaking from the rail, he outhustled Mike From Queens to the front and the horse rated comfortably on the lead. He didn't attempt to lug in during the stretch run, which he had tried to do in his prior two wins.

"At any point in the race when he gets a breather, his ears come up, but he's ready for more," Dominguez said. "He's got a lot of stamina."

Toby Sheets, the New York-based assistant to Steve Asmussen, called the race "very professional, very nice." Haynesfield, a New York-bred son of Speightstown, is owned by Harvey Weinstein's Turtle Bird Stable.

"He's done everything right," Sheets said. "He's very easy to deal with, wants to do the right thing. It's very nice to be around a horse like that, makes our job very easy."

Given the fact he's 3 for 3 around two turns over the inner track, Haynesfield will most likely make his next start in the Grade 3, $250,000 Gotham Stakes here March 7.