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Patton is making Derby noise


HALLANDALE, Fla. -- While Dehere and Go for Gin rested for their next tests on the road to the Kentucky Derby, a strong new challenge was mounted at Gulfstream Park yesterday when the colt Patton outran other 3-year-old contenders by 8 1/2 lengths and took dead aim at the racing classics.

Patton, a son of Lord At War and a grandson of Seattle Slew, led all the way in an allowance race for colts who skipped Saturday's Fountain of Youth Stakes. At the wire, he was drawing far in front of Nick Zito's Crary, the stablemate of Go for Gin, who had three-quarters of a length on Line Dance.

The winner ran the mile and a sixteenth in 1:43 2/5 and paid $3.20 for a $2 wager as the 3-5 favorite. He has won three of five starts and has run in the money all five times.

"We didn't have any Holy Bull or Go for Gin in there," said Sonny Hine, who trains Patton for Scott Savin. "But his distance is long, and I think we have a shot."

Hine said Patton would aim for the Florida Derby on March 12 and would test Dehere and Go for Gin, who finished 1-2 in the Fountain of Youth Saturday.

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