09/09/2007 11:00PM

Oprah Winney cruises in her Cup prep


Oprah Winney got the easy prep her connections were seeking Sunday as she strolled to a 31/4-length victory in the $104,700 Schenectady Handicap for New York-bred fillies and mares at Belmont Park.

Scatkey rallied to get second by a nose over Karakorum Starlet.

The win was the fourth from six starts this year for Oprah Winney, who will now be pointed to the $1 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint at Monmouth Park on Oct. 26.

"This race served its purpose," trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. said. "Good timing for the next race. We could've run her somewhere else for big money. All of us want to have fun on a big day, and as long as she stays this way, we have a good chance of having some fun."

Oprah Winney ran in front bandages on Sunday, but Dutrow said that was as a precaution "because she ran down in a breeze a little bit. We just wanted to protect her today."

Breaking from the outside post in the five-horse field, Oprah Winney stalked Karakorum Starlet through an opening quarter-mile in 22.26 seconds before making the lead at the three-furlong marker under Garrett Gomez. She opened up a six-length advantage at the eighth pole before settling for her comfortable score, covering six furlongs in 1:09.60. Sent off at 1-9, Oprah Winney returned $2.30 to win.

* Earlier on the card, English Colony ($5.50) recorded his fourth consecutive victory with a front-running, 2 3/4-length victory in the $76,700 Lights and Music Stakes.

English Colony, a 3-year-old son of Rock of Gibraltar trained by Angel Penna Jr., covered seven furlongs in 1:20.13, just 0.25 of a second off the Widener Turf Course record of 1:19.88 set by Officialpermission in 2000.