07/20/2003 12:00AM

Well Fancied takes Shipman


ELMONT, N.Y. - Well Fancied answered any questions about his ability to handle a route of ground by posting a front-running, 4 1-2-length victory in Sunday's $113,100 Evan Shipman Stakes for New York-bred before a closing-day crowd of 9.062 at Belmont Park.

The victory helped cap a superb meet for trainer Richard Dutrow Jr., who won two races on Sunday's card and finished with 22 winners from 82 starters. Though he finished a distant second behind the record-setting Todd Pletcher (40 wins from 133 starters), Dutrow had a winning percentage of .268.

Well Fancied, owned by Sanford Goldfarb, Stewart Hoffman and Jonathan Flesig, had never won beyond seven furlongs, but on Sunday he made quick work of his nine rivals .

Under Edgar Prado, Well Fancied assumed command soon after the start and despite running strong fractions of 23.27 seconds, 45.97, and 1:09.98, Well Fancied was never threatened while stopping the teletimer in 1:40.94 for 1 1-16 miles. In winning for the eighth time in 24 career starts, Well Fancied returned $5.80 as the favorite.

Compelling World, under Shaun Bridgmohan, rallied wide to be second, three lengths ahead of defending Evan Shipman winner Sherpa Guide. Gander, who won this race in 2000, faded to sixth, beaten 10 1-2 lengths, after stalking the early pace.

Prado won three races on the card and finished the meet with 59 wins, second to John Velazquez who won his third consecutive Belmont spring/summer meet with 70 winners.