02/06/2002 12:00AM

Saratoga Blues's 2002 debut stirs excitement in Dutrow barn


JAMAICA, N.Y. - Saratoga Blues's 3-year-old debut has been delayed a couple of times, but it appears all systems are go for the colt to start in Saturday's $75,000-added Whirlaway Stakes at Aqueduct.

The future looks bright for the undefeated *, a Twining colt out of a Manila mare, who is owned by Alvin Akman and trained by Tony Dutrow. The lightly raced Saratoga Blues has already shown a liking for a distance of ground by impressively winning a pair of starts around two turns last year.

In his debut at Laurel Park on Nov. 24, Dutrow's colt dominated his rivals in a 1 1/16-mile maiden race, winning by 11 3/4 lengths. On Dec. 20, Saratoga Blues shipped to Aqueduct and won a first-level allowance race at a mile and 70 yards by 2 1/2 lengths. Saratoga Blues set the pace in each of his starts.

The low-key Dutrow is not one to talk-up his horses, but the trainer is cautiously optimistic Saratoga Blues will turn out to be a serious runner.

"He's big and strong physically and bred to get the distance," Dutrow said. "He's already shown us some talent, so I'm looking forward to see how good he is. His riders in the afternoon and in the morning are all excited about him."

Dutrow entered Saratoga Blues in Aqueduct's Count Fleet on Jan. 5, but scratched the colt the morning of the race because he felt the race was too close to his previous start, and he wasn't pleased with his horse's draw, post 7 in a 10-horse field.

Dutrow then targeted the $40,000 Miracle Wood Stakes on Jan. 19 at Laurel Park for Saratoga Blues's 2002 debut, and also entered Coach Knight, but the card was scrapped when a snowstorm hit Maryland.

"I entered Coach Knight so Saratoga Blues could sit behind him and get some dirt in his face," Dutrow said. "Outside of that, not getting to run didn't matter that much."

Saratoga Blues heads into the 1 1/16-mile Whirlaway with a string of bullet works. On Wednesday at Laurel Park, he worked a half-mile in 47.60 seconds, handily, the fastest of eight works at the distance.

Mario Pino has the mount on Saratoga Blues.

Expected to join Saratoga Blues in the Whirlaway are D'Coach, Flo's Bo, Goshin's Lad, More Specific, Smoked Em, and Storm Commander. European invaders Goshin's Lad and More Specific will be making their first starts in this country.

Lezcano enjoys five-winner day

Apprentice Lorenzo Lezcano extended his lead in the standings by winning with five of his nine mounts on Wednesday. The last apprentice in New York to win five or more races on a single card was Shaun Bridgmohan, who rode six winners on Feb. 15, 1998.

Lezcano, 20, began his parade of winners in the first with Here's Jessie ($5.50). He followed with wins aboard Let's Go to Dodge ($4), Won Moro ($6.30), Smart Jet ($27.60), and Flying Baron ($5.30).

Through an interpreter, Lezcano said, "I thought I might win two, and then three. I didn't think I could win more than that."

Through Wednesday, Lezcano, a five-pound apprentice, has won 47 races from 277 mounts at the inner track meet, which began on Dec. 5. Javier Castellano is second with 39 winners with five weeks remaining in the meet.

With Ability stretches out Friday

With Ability, a stakes winner for trainer Mark Hennig, tries something new in Friday's feature when she stretches out around two turns.

A beautifully bred daughter of A.P. Indy, out of a Mr. Prospector mare, With Ability has won three sprints, including the Fashion Stakes when she was 2. In her last, With Ability, a 4-year-old, was no factor in the six-furlong Interborough.

With Ability faces five other fillies and mares in the $48,000 feature, an allowance race for non-winners of three other-than or non-winners of four races lifetime. The distance is a mile and 70 yards.

Letter of Intent was no match for Too Scarlet in her last at this level, but was running well late in that one-mile race and is a good fit with this bunch.

* Travis Dunkelberger took off his three mounts on Wednesday's card because he was at home in West Virginia with his wife who was ill. Dunkelberger relocated to New York from Maryland on Jan. 30, and has ridden three winners from 12 mounts since his arrival.


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