03/12/2002 12:00AM

Add Heir D' Twine and Two Shakes to Gotham mix


JAMAICA, N.Y. ? The Gotham field gained two starters on Tuesday when the connections of Heir D' Twine and Two Shakes said their 3-year-olds would run in Sunday's Grade 3 at Aqueduct.

But the status of one of the previously confirmed starters, Whirlaway winner Saratoga Blues, changed on Tuesday. An Aqueduct press release, quoting Saratoga Blues's trainer, Tony Dutrow, said the colt is also under consideration for the $500,000 Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park on March 23.

Dutrow told the press office he planned to work Saratoga Blues on Wednesday at Laurel.

Heir D' Twine and Two Shakes, who will be longshots, will join Saarland, Mayakovsky, Parade of Music, and Tank's Expectation in the $200,000 Gotham at one mile.

In California, trainer Bobby Frankel said he decided against shipping Medaglia d'Oro, a horse he recently purchased for Edmund Gann, to New York for the Gotham.

Trainer Rick Violette, after working his Gotham nominees, Two Shakes and My Man Ryan, on Tuesday at Aqueduct, said Two Shakes, a winner of his last two starts sprinting, would represent him in the Gotham, while My Man Ryan will go in the Spiral Stakes.

Two Shakes worked five furlongs in 1:02.38, breezing. My Man Ryan covered the same distance in 1:00.01, handily.

Violette said Two Shakes, a son of Two Punch who won a six-furlong allowance race in 1:10.92 and earned a 99 Beyer Speed Figure on Feb. 18, is improving.

"Two Shakes's one-other-than was quite impressive, and I really think he'll get the mile," Violette said. "This handicaps as an interesting race. They are a couple of horses coming off layoffs, so maybe this is the right time to attack."

Mike Luzzi has the mount on Two Shakes.

Heir D' Twine's trainer, Steve DiMauro, said he doubts his colt, a winner of a $35,000 maiden claimer at the Big A last fall, is better than Saarland and Mayakovsky, a pair of highly regarded juveniles who are making their seasonal debuts in the Gotham.

But DiMauro, echoing Violette's sentiments, said the Gotham might be the right time and place to take a shot. In his last race, Heir D' Twine jumped an allowance condition to capture a second-level race here in the mud on March 3.

"Originally, I was against running back in two weeks because he's a small horse, but he's feeling good and jumping out of his skin," DiMauro said. "Another factor is some moisture is expected in New York this weekend, and he handled the mud well in his last race. I'm not sure my horse belongs with these horses, but a couple of them might need the race or are trying something different. I'm taking advantage of a situation."

Javier Castellano, aboard for Heir D' Twine's two career wins, has the mount.

Strong work for Mayakovsky

Mayakovsky, scheduled to arrive in New York from California on Friday, worked a half-mile in 46 seconds, breezing, on Tuesday at Santa Anita. The work was the fastest of 33 at the distance.

Trainer Patrick Biancone, on a national teleconference call after Mayakovsky's work, said the work was "to stretch out his legs."

Biancone said the main reason he's making the journey to Aqueduct with Mayakovsky, who is unraced since finishing second in last year's Hopeful, rather than staying home for the San Felipe, is the appeal of the Gotham's one-turn mile.

"It keeps our options open in case the horse doesn't stay the trip," Biancone said. "In case he can't, we can go back to sprinting."

One more work for Saarland

Remsen winner Saarland, the likely Gotham favorite, walked the shed row Tuesday after arriving from Florida on Monday.

Saarland's trainer, Shug McGaughey, who is in New York this week, said Saarland will gallop into the Gotham after working at Gulfstream on Sunday.

Depending upon Saarland's demeanor, McGaughey said he might decide to school the horse in Aqueduct's paddock later in the week.

"If he's pretty high, I might want to school him," McGaughey said. "I don't want to make any mistakes come Sunday."

The Gotham isn't the only Kentucky Derby prep that McGaughey is participating in this weekend. McGaughey also will run D'Coach in Saturday's Grade 1 Florida Derby at Gulfstream. McGaughey said he didn't plan on returning to Florida until Monday and will have his assistant in Florida saddle D'Coach.

* Evening Attire, who recently recovered from a virus, worked three furlongs in 36.30 seconds, breezing, on Tuesday at Belmont. Trainer Pat Kelly is pointing Evening Attire, a multiple stakes winner, to the $200,00 Excelsior on April 6.

* Racing has switched to the main track, but don't expect thrilling weekday features so soon in the meet. The feature awaiting fans on Thursday is a $44,000 first-level allowance race for 3-year-old fillies at a mile.

Sweet Charity, coming off a 5 1/2-length maiden win on the inner track, is among the seven entered. Heavenly Night, claimed 11 days ago by trainer Dominic Galluscio for $50,000, gets blinkers on and will be ridden by the inner track's leading rider, Lorenzo Lezcano. Jester Rahab, an easy winner of her last two against $50,000 claimers, will try to extend her streak.