02/12/2007 12:00AM

$54K carryover on tap


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - If a forecasted winter storm doesn't put a halt to the proceedings, Wednesday's nine-race card at Aqueduct features a $54,441 pick-six carryover that includes the featured $65,000 Champagneforashley Stakes for older New York-bred males.

The Champagneforashley brings together several familiar faces, including Carminooch and Naughty New Yorker, the co-highweights at 124 pounds.

Carminooch is running back just 17 days after winning the Proud Appeal overnight stakes by a head over Successful Affair. That race was run at 1 1/4 miles, while the Champagneforashley is run at a mile and 70 yards.

"The longer distances definitely suit him better," said Seth Benzel, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher. "That being said, he's run well at the shorter distances, and if he's on his game and puts his run in he'll be hard to beat. We're taking a shot by bringing him back quick. After this race, the spacing should be more appropriate."

Mike Luzzi will ride Carminooch from post 2.

The last time Carminooch raced on less than three weeks' rest was last February, when he won the Aves Flag by four lengths after finishing second in the Mellow Roll. Carminooch is 3 for 4 over wet surfaces, and inclement weather - snow perhaps changing to rain - is forecast.

Naughty New Yorker comes off a third-place finish behind runaway winner Liquor Cabinet in the Gradeo3 Aqueduct Handicap. Naughty New Yorker was beaten a neck for second. He has won three of the last four restricted stakes in which he has run, including the Alex M. Robb Handicap, where he took advantage of a quick pace to win from last. Naughty New Yorker has also won from on the lead, but trainer Pat Kelly hopes that a speed duel develops on Wednesday.

"I still think his better races are closing," Kelly said. "Maybe everybody will be thinking speed."

Trainer Gary Contessa will most likely be thinking speed with Storm Boot Gold, who has not run since setting the pace and finishing last in the Evan Shipman last July 22, his 10th race of the year. C.C. Lopez has the call from post 3. Go Fernando Go, who breaks from the rail under Alan Garcia, may have enough speed to entertain Storm Boot Gold up front.

Who What Win was second behind Naughty New Yorker in the Alex M. Robb and deserves upset consideration. Shuffling Maddnes and Ryan Is Flying complete the field.