01/03/2009 12:00AM

Haynesfield shows new dimension


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Haynesfield may not have been as visually impressive as he was when he romped to victory in last month's Damon Runyon Stakes, but there were still some things to like about the 3-year-old colt's 3 1/2-length victory in Saturday's $68,460 Count Fleet Stakes at Aqueduct.

Though he was meeting just four rivals, Haynesfield was stepping out of New York-bred company for the first time. More importantly, Haynesfield demonstrated he could be effective coming from off the pace. Finally, after putting away a stubborn Mike from Queens in midstretch, Haynesfield lengthened his stride and galloped out very well.

On the negative side, Haynesfield did attempt to lug in a time or two in the stretch, and his final time of 1:44.65 was the third slowest Count Fleet in 26 runnings at the mile and 70-yard distance.

Still, his connections were pleased enough with the result.

"It was a big step up; his first race in open company and he came through," said Carol Seaver, racing manager for Harvey Weinstein's Turtle Bird Stable, which owns Haynesfield. "And he came from off the pace as opposed to being on he lead, which points to more versatility."

Under Ramon Dominguez, Haynes-field raced in the second flight of horses, outside of Pitched Perfectly and behind both Aswaaq and Mike from Queens, who dueled through fractions of 23.02 seconds and 46.68 for the opening half-mile. Entering the far turn, Haynesfield launched a three-wide bid and at the top of the stretch he was alongside Mike from Queens, who had put away Aswaaq.

In upper stretch, Haynesfield lugged in somewhat, but once Dominguez got him straightened out, Haynesfield ($3) gradually edged clear of Mike from Queens to earn the victory. Jess Not Jesse got up in the final stride to get second over Mike From Queens.

"He was so relaxed I had no clue whether I had horse or not," Dominguez said. "When it was time to pick it up, he was there for me. I was aware we were following very fast fractions. I knew he wasn't going to be as push button as far as picking it up, but he did it nice enough."

Seaver said she, Weinstein, and trainer Steve Asmussen would get together to determine whether to keep Haynesfield in New York for races like the $100,000 Whirlaway here Feb. 7 or seek a race out of town.

* There were four winners of the pick six, each returning $95,858. There was a $118,035 carryover entering the day and an additional $478,222 was wagered into the pool.