Updated on 09/16/2011 6:48AM

Saratoga Blues rates way to victory

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JAMAICA, N.Y. - Tony Dutrow continued his dominance of New York's winter stakes, and Saratoga Blues inched closer to a trip down the Triple Crown trail with a two-length victory in Saturday's $82,525 Whirlaway Stakes* at Aqueduct.

Making his 3-year-old debut after going 2 for 2 as a juvenile, Saratoga Blues, under Mario Pino, sat off the pace-setting Flo's Bo before taking command at the eighth pole and drawing clear for the win. D'Coach, the 7-5 favorite, rallied outside to be second, but was disqualified and placed third for crowding Smoked Em in midstretch. Smoked Em was moved to second from third.

Saratoga Blues, a son of Twining, covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.93 and returned $5.80 as the second choice. Dutrow is now seven for 13 over Aqueduct's inner track, including three stakes victories.

In his first two starts, Saratoga Blues had been in front at every call. Saturday, Pino was content to let Saratoga Blues sit behind Flo's Bo, who set fractions of 23.38 seconds, 47.80, and 1:12.52. Saratoga Blues needed only mild encouragement to take the lead and draw off.

"I was well prepared to see him sit behind a horse today. I thought that was what was going to happen," Dutrow said. "Mario said he relaxed very well and when he called on him he was there."

Though Dutrow was pleased with his colt's performance, he was realistic with what Saratoga Blues accomplished.

"This wasn't a big step today, this was no stellar field," Dutrow said. "I don't want to take anything away from anybody's horse, they were a long way from being a bunch of bad horses either. I'm not looking to take on the world - I hope it ends up that way some day."

Dutrow said he wants to keep Saratoga Blues around two turns and may look at the $750,000 Louisiana Derby on March 10 at Fair Grounds.

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