12/28/2001 12:00AM

A spectacular year for Dutrow


JAMAICA, N.Y. - Winning Sunday's $75,000-added Alex M. Robb at Aqueduct with Spectacularspencer would be a fitting conclusion to trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. and owner Sanford Goldfarb's terrific year in New York in 2001.

Dutrow and Goldfarb each will win year-end titles for races won in New York this year. And it won't be shocking if Spectacularspencer provides them with their last victory in New York in 2001 when the racing year ends Sunday.

Spectacularspencer will be favored in the Alex M. Robb, a New York-bred handicap at 1 1/16 miles which drew 12 horses.

Dutrow and Goldfarb claimed Spectacularspencer 13 months ago for $30,000, but the gelding didn't make his first start for his new connections until July because he required surgery to remove chips from his knee. Since his return, Spectacularspencer has won 4 of 7 starts, including his last three in open allowance races.

In his latest, Spectacularspencer dominated a third-level allowance race by 4 3/4 lengths here on Dec. 15 at the Alex M. Robb distance.

"We're taking a chance by running him back in two weeks, but I wanted to be sure he would be able to go two turns and he showed he could in his last race," Dutrow said. "We haven't done a whole lot with him since then; just jogging."

Javier Castellano rides Spectacularspencer, who has tactical speed and drew post 5. Spectacularspencer totes 118 pounds along with co-highweights No Bad Habits and Phil the Grip.

Brave One has run some decent races against statebreds this year, including his two-length win over No Bad Habits in the 1 1/8-mile Ashley T. Cole at Belmont Park in the fall.

Brave One's trainer, Gary Contessa, said, "We never know which Brave One will show up. He's an underachiever with major talent. In the Ashley T. Cole at the quarter pole, I expected the field to pass him and I was going to be happy with third or fourth, but with a little moisture in the track he really excels."

Contessa also entered Storm the Gate, who is not coupled with Brave One. Contessa said if Brave One, a front-runner, gets cooked in a speed duel, Storm the Gate, a deep closer, will be flying at the finish.

Norberto Arroyo Jr. must maneuver Brave One into good position from post 11. Storm the Gate drew the rail and has Jose Velez Jr. aboard.

No Bad Habits usually picks up a check, but was no match for Spectacularspencer when they met two weeks ago.