11/15/2003 1:00AM

Perty Number is Finger Lakes's best


Perty Number, who began the year running for a $4,000 claiming tag with only two career victories, has been named Finger Lakes horse of the year. The award was presented at the Finger Lakes Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association dinner.

A 5-year-old New York-bred mare, Perty Number won only two of her first 17 career starts. Claimed for $4,000 on May 18, Perty Number posted six wins and six seconds in 12 starts this year. She won her first two starts against $10,000 claimers and went on to win four more races against statebred and open allowance competition.

Perty Number beat out last year's Finger Lakes horse of the year, Runaway Tiger, along with three other horses who won stakes during the 2003 season - As Wicked, Noble Adversary, and Ora. Perty Number was also named best older filly or mare.

Smokieisabandit, who went 4 for 4 at Finger Lakes this season, also won two awards. He was named best colt, horse, or gelding ages 4-and-up and best claimer for a price of $16,000 and up.

Houston Pro, 5, was the unopposed winner of the best $16,000 and up filly or mare claimer after winning 5 of 7 starts at Finger Lakes.

* Sea Hunter, a seven-time stakes winner in the early 1990's, was named the 13th inductee of the Finger Lakes Hall of Fame.

Sea Hunter won the Genesee Valley Breeders' Handicap three straight years, and the George W. Barker Stakes twice, defeating two other hall of fame horses - Frattare in 1991 and Lordofthemountain in 1992.

Sea Hunter, who finished his career with a victory at Finger Lakes in 1995 at age 9, earned $541,723 over 65 career starts (19-19-10). A formal induction ceremony for Sea Hunter will take place during the 2004 racing season.

* Finger Lakes canceled the remainder of its Saturday card after the second race because of unsafe track conditions.