01/07/2009 12:00AM

Albertrani's barn warming up


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Thus far, 2009 has been awful kind to trainer Tom Albertrani.

After ending 2008 on a 1-for-16 skein, Albertrani won 3 races from 6 starters last week at Aqueduct in addition to winning the Grade 3 Old Hat Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

"It's been a good year," Albertrani said by phone Wednesday from south Florida.

It may get even better on Saturday when Albertrani runs Flashing in the $65,000 Busanda Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Aqueduct. Flashing, a debut winner over Aqueduct's main track on Nov. 30, will break from post 6 in the nine-horse field for the Busanda at a mile and 70 yards.

Flashing, a daughter of A.P. Indy owned by Darley Stable, debuted in a 6 1/2-furlong race, stalking the early pace before charging to a 1 1/4-length victory. She covered the distance in the mud in 1:18.64 and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 85.

"She's a filly we always had a lot of hope for; she showed a lot of promise in the works," Albertrani said. "Racing her three-quarters first time, we knew she's a two-turn horse, but wanted to get a race in her and stretch her out later."

Albertrani hopes that Flashing takes to two turns like his Morning Chatter did last Sunday when she rolled to a nine-length win in a mile maiden race. Morning Chatter was dropping out of a third-place finish in the Grade 3 Tempted.

Also last week, Albertrani won a second-level allowance race with Barrier Reef, the 2008 Whirlaway winner, who is now 3 for 4 over the inner track. Barrier Reef earned a 100 Beyer Speed Figure for his victory and could run back in the $65,000 Evening Attire on Jan. 17, though Albertrani fears that may be too quick back off a huge effort.

"I may want to give him enough time to get him over this race,'' Albertrani said. "He hadn't run in three months.''

Albertrani began 2009 with Zada Belle's victory in the Interborough Stakes. Albertrani said Zada Belle could be a candidate for the Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie Handicap at Laurel on Feb. 16 or possibly the Grade 2, $150,000 Distaff Handicap here on March 21.

Terranova hopes for breakout year

These are also heady times for trainer John Terranova. Coming off his first Grade 1 victory with Laragh in last month's Hollywood Starlet, Terranova hopes the momentum from that victory can carry over into 2009.

So far, it has.

Last Friday, Terranova won the Restored Hope Stakes with Awesome I Am and finished second in a second-level allowance race with the stakes-placed Helsinki. Those performances give Terranova hope that both horses can have successful years in 2009.

Awesome I Am, a 4-year-old daughter of Awesome Again, ran down a loose-on-the-lead Spritely in the Restored Hope, covering a mile and 70 yards in 1:44.38 and earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 86. Prior to that, she finished third in a sprint allowance race over the inner track after finishing last in the Raven Run Stakes over Keeneland's synthetic surface. She also finished third in the four-horse Grade 1 Gazelle.

Though nominated to the Affectionately Handicap here on Jan. 17, Awesome I Am probably won't run in that spot because it would be her third race in five weeks.

"Very happy to get that stakes under her belt,'' Terranova said Wednesday by phone from Florida, where he has 20 horses stabled at Palm Meadows in addition to the 18 he has at Belmont with his wife, Tonja. "Nice filly. I think over time she could get better this year as a 4-year-old. The race at Keeneland she didn't handle that synthetic surface at all; it was a tough spot anyway.''

Meanwhile, Terranova was very pleased with Helsinki's second-place finish to Barrier Reef in that 1 1/16-mile allowance race. It was Helsinki's second start since returning from a year layoff, and Terranova said the horse came out of his first start with a lung infection.

Helsinki, a half-brother to Well Armed, had previously been trained by Nick Zito, and ran third in the 2007 Travers. Terranova said the horse was sidelined because an ankle chip had to be removed.

Terranova said he has no immediate plans for Helsinki, though he's looking forward to getting him stretched out to 11 furlongs or 12 furlongs later in the year.

"Hopefully he can get back to some good form and maybe make some noise in the handicap division,'' Terranova said.

Helsinki is one of three horses Terranova nominated to the Evening Attire, formerly the Aqueduct Handicap, to be run Jan. 17. Terranova said Helsinki won't run in that spot, but Broadway Producer will. Broadway Producer is coming off a three-length victory in the Jennings Handicap at Laurel last out.

Two starts before that, Broadway Producer won the Maryland Million Turf, but Terranova said the Maryland-bred horse's future will be on dirt.

"He ran big numbers both times, so we're going to stick to the dirt,'' Terranova said.

Only 13 horses were nominated to the Evening Attire. Barcola, Brilliant Son, Broadway Producer, and Judiths Wild Rush are among the early probables.

* Riz Sauvage, a 5-year-old gelded son of Dynaformer, had to be euthanized on the track after suffering a catastrophic injury to his left foreleg during the running of Wednesday's nightcap.