07/16/2004 11:00PM

Offer you can't refuse: Don Corleone at $121


Don Corleone, by far the longest price on the board at 59-1, held off 11-1 shot Seven Come Eleven to win the $164,000 New York Derby at Finger Lakes Saturday. Work With Me, the 2-1 second favorite, finished third in the 10-horse field of New York-bred 3-year-olds. Don Corleone paid $121.50 to win, and the winning 5-8 exacta returned $1,220.

The New York Derby was the second leg of OTBs' Big Apple Triple, a three-race series for statebred 3-year-olds that ends with the $150,000 Albany at Saratoga Aug. 25.

Coined for Success shot to the lead in the 1 1/16-mile New York Derby with Don Corleone and Tomorrows Magic in close pursuit. After setting fractions of 23.18 seconds and 46.59, Coined for Success tired on the far turn. Don Corleone, under jockey Dean Frates, flew past and opened up a four-length lead in midstretch. Seven Come Eleven closed a big gap in the final furlong, but fell a neck short.

Owned by Carmine Iorio and trained by Sal Iorio Jr., Don Corleone ran the 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.76.

The victory was the second for Don Corleone, a son of Incurable Optimist. In the Mike Lee, the first leg of OTBs' Big Apple Triple, he finished fifth, beaten 12 3/4 lengths by Multiplication. Multiplication died of an apparent heart attack on July 10, two weeks after his Mike Lee victory.