08/20/2003 12:00AM

Traffic Chief wires Albany


Traffic Chief always was in command in Wednesday's $168,250 at Saratoga and rolled home a two-length winner over Acceptable Venture in the final leg of the Big Apple Triple for New York-bred 3-year-olds.

Traffic Chief, the 6-5 favorite under Jose Santos, jumped out to the early lead in the 1 1/8-mile Albany and set fractions of 24.05 seconds, 47.76, 1:11.69, and 1:36.51. Spite the Devil finished third, three lengths behind Acceptable Venture. Go Rockin' Robin and Bo Bo's Vice completed the order of finish.

Traffic Chief ($4.70) covered the distance in 1:49.66 over a fast track. Barry Schwartz, the chairman of the New York Racing Association, owns and bred Traffic Chief.

Mike Hushion, Traffic Chief's trainer, said he was worried when the colt was on the muscle in the post parade and wondered if his prerace antics would take something out of him.

"I was concerned about what kind of energy he was burning up," Hushion said.

Traffic Chief, a son of 1993 Belmont Stakes winner Colonial Affair, won the second leg of the Big Apple Triple last month at Finger Lakes in the New York Derby. He did not run in the first race in the series, the Mike Lee at Belmont Park in June.

With his win in the Albany, Traffic Chief has a record of 5-1-0 in six starts and earnings of $288,690.