10/16/2001 11:00PM

Suffolk Downs

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EAST BOSTON, Mass. - The New England Turf Writers Association have announced that the proceeds from their 60th annual dinner, at which they will honor the champions of New England racing, will be donated to the New York Heroes Fund.

All donations to the fund, which was established by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, assist the survivors of slain firefighters, police officers, rescue workers, and other victims of the Sept. 11 attacks.

NETWA's Sam McCracken Award for lifetime contributions to New England racing will be presented to Don Cress, who for more than 30 years has supervised the video department at Suffolk Downs for International Sound. The Lou Smith Award for contributions to New England racing in 2001 went to Team McDonnell, which consists of owner Francis McDonnell and trainer George Handy.

Manfred Roos's homebred Sunlit Ridge was the biggest equine winner, as she was named the area's best 3-year filly, turf filly, and Massachusetts-bred. Other equine winners include: Method Man (2-year-old colt), Cliffdiver (3-year-old colt), Flash of Joy (older horse), Cajun Season (older filly or mare), Goodbar (sprinter), and Ben Speedin (turf horse).

The area's 2-year-old filly champion will be announced following the running of the Mom's Command Stakes next Saturday.

Special achievement awards were given to Weepecket; Oh So Fabulous and Step With Style.

Josiah Hampshire, Jr. was named the top jockey and Ron Dandy the top trainer.

The NETWA dinner will be held Nov. 19 at the Danversport Yacht Club. Tickets are $50.