11/11/2006 1:00AM

'Naughty' in control off the turf

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OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Naughty New Yorker took advantage of a surface switch and a soft pace to record his first graded stakes victory, taking Saturday's $150,000 by 1 3/4 lengths in front-running fashion at Aqueduct.

Angliana, the 8-5 favorite, finished second, five lengths ahead of Crown Point. Chilly Rooster and Request for Parole completed the order of finish.

The Red Smith was originally scheduled to be run at 1 3/8 miles on the turf, but John Passero, the New York Racing Association's director of racing surfaces, said the turf course was still "very soft" in parts down the backside, prompting him to move the race to the dirt. The race was run at 1 1/4 miles.

Because of the surface switch, the Red Smith scratched down to a field of five. It was automatically downgraded to a Grade 3 pending a review by the North American Graded Stakes Committee.

Jean-Luc Samyn missed two of Naughty New Yorker's stakes victories this past summer because he was sidelined with an injury. With Edgar Prado in Florida on Saturday, Samyn was reunited with Naughty New Yorker, and he put the New York-bred son of Quiet American on the lead an eighth of a mile into the race. Naughty New Yorker got away with ridiculously slow fractions of 26.15 seconds, 51.95, 1:16.56, and 1:40.96 for the opening mile. Thus, he had more than enough left when Angliana and Crown Point attempted to make a run at him at the quarter pole.

Naughty New Yorker ($5.90), owned by Fox Ridge Farm and trained by Pat Kelly, covered the distance in 2:04.52.

"We were all set to run next week," Kelly said, referring to the $100,000 Stuyvesant Handicap. "But we'll take the bigger purse. I figured they wouldn't catch him because he was running so easy."

It was the sixth stakes win for Naughty New Yorker, but first in open company. Overall, Naught New Yorker has won 7 of 27 starts and earned $608,802.

Mr. Leader: Ferocious Fires stays unbeaten

The New York-bred Ferocious Fires ($10.20) remained undefeated in five career starts with a determined half-length victory in the $69,250 Mr. Leader Stakes at seven furlongs.

Hither Lane, who stalked the pace from third under John Velazquez, finished second by a neck over Saint Daimon.

High Finance, the 4-5 favorite, got squeezed at the start and made a strong four-wide move around the turn to gain contention, but he flattened out and finished fourth.

Under Fernando Jara, Ferocious Fires broke on top and was pressed along the inside by Songofthesailor through early fractions of 22.84 and 45.41 seconds. Approaching the top of the stretch, Ferocious Fires appeared ready to be swallowed by Hither Lane and High Finance, but he fought on and held off Hither Lane for the victory despite Jara losing his whip at the sixteenth pole. The winning time was 1:22.13.

"When I saw the horses going so fast, I thought they were going to go by me," Jara said. "But he came back again at the end and I lost my whip. The last sixteenth, I never whipped the horse. He's a fighter."

Ferocious Fires, a son of Lite the Fuse, is owned by Sanford Goldfarb, Ira Davis, Michael Glassberg, and William Vidro and is trained by Tony Dutrow.