08/23/2006 12:00AM

Indian Hawke scores in Albany

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Indian Hawke, a talented but inconsistent gelding, was back on top of his game Wednesday at Saratoga, leading throughout under Jose Santos to register a 1 1/2-length victory over Shuffling Madness in the $150,000 . The previously undefeated Run Red Run, the 8-5 favorite, finished third.

The Albany was the third and final leg of the Big Apple Triple for New York-breds. Ferocious Won had captured the first two legs of the series and was eligible for a $250,000 bonus if he could complete the sweep, but he tired badly after stalking the pace for six furlongs and finished sixth in a field of seven 3-year-olds.

Indian Hawke went right to the lead after breaking alertly from post 2 and set moderate fractions of 24.50 seconds, 49.56, and 1:13.70 with Run Red Run and Ferocious Won in close pursuit. Ferocious Won was the first to surrender after bearing out a bit wide into the stretch. Indian Hawke repulsed a challenge from Run Red Run turning for home and through early stretch, and remained clear despite drifting out near midstretch.

Indian Hawke, trained by George Weaver for owner Donald Flanagan, ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:38.19 and paid $41.60.

"He's a very talented horse who either wins or pitches in the towel," said Weaver of Indian Hawke. "I couldn't make up my mind whether to go to the lead or stalk, and told Jose to ride him as he saw fit. Fortunately he did just that, and it paid off for all of us."