01/17/2003 1:00AM

This allowance feels like a stakes


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - There is no stakes race at Aqueduct on Sunday, but the $56,000 allowance feature easily could be mistaken for one.

Seven older males entered the classified allowance, including Resolve and My Man Ryan, sharp-looking winners at the current inner track meet.

For Resolve, the mile-and-70-yard race is a prep for the $200,000 General George, a seven-furlong race at Laurel Park on Feb. 17. For My Man Ryan, it is an easier spot than Saturday's $100,000 Aqueduct Handicap, where he also was entered.

Bruce Levine, Resolve's trainer, said he is still trying to get a line on the 5-year-old he claimed on behalf of owner Roddy Valente and partners for $100,000 at Santa Anita in October.

Last year in California, Resolve was running in races at distances of a mile and under. In his first start for Levine on Dec. 18 at Aqueduct, Resolve won a mile-and-70-yard, two-turn allowance race by 2 1/4 lengths over a muddy track.

"I'm not sure how far he wants to go," Levine said. "In his last race, he tried to pull himself up when he got to the lead. I kind of like the idea of turning him back at Laurel."

Richard Migliore rides Resolve, the likely pacesetter from post 2.

My Man Ryan's trainer, Pat Reynolds, said he wasn't anxious for his colt to take on Snake Mountain, Voodoo, and Ground Storm in the Grade 3 Aqueduct.

A winner of two of his last four starts, My Man Ryan ran on Dec. 18 and finished second, two lengths behind Ground Storm in an allowance race. "I don't want to underestimate [the Aqueduct field]," said Reynolds, who trains My Man Ryan for Michael Dubb and Mark Doneson. "We could be a cut below."

Shaun Bridgmohan rides My Man Ryan from post 7.

'Cappy could end big weekend'

Reynolds and Dubb could have a big weekend. In addition to My Man Ryan, they send out the promising Alysweep in Monday's $75,000-added Fred "Cappy" Capossela for 3-year-olds.

On Friday, Alysweep worked a half-mile in 49.72 seconds over Belmont Park's training track, which Reynolds said had some moisture in it from the overnight snowfall.

Alysweep was claimed out of a maiden claiming race for $75,000 on Dec. 15. A son of End Sweep, Alysweep was a 7 3/4-length winner the day he was claimed. He bounced back for another easy win - by 8 3/4 lengths - in his first start for his new connections on New Year's Day.

Reynolds said he thinks Alysweep's initial win did him a world of good.

"He was a little goofy in the paddock the day we claimed him," Reynolds said. "I think the win turned his head around. He's really acting very professional."

A small field is taking shape for the six-furlong Capossela and the three principal players - Philadelphia Jim, Unswept, and Alysweep - all have early speed.

Reynolds said Alysweep will be part of the early fray.

"[Philadelphia Jim] better be real game because we are going right after him," he said. "Lately, you can't take back on the inner. You have to let them roll."

How cold is it? The horses don't care

After several mild winters, this year's arctic blast has many people grumbling. Frigid temperatures, however, generally do not bother horses, according to New York Racing Association veterinarian Celeste Kunz.

"It affects the vets more than the horses," Kunz said Friday when the wind chill dipped to a bone-chilling 18 degrees. "Horses do very well in this weather. Racehorses are highly conditioned and for the most part protected from the elements. Their coats get shaggy and can be clipped, so it's easier to cool them out."

Kunz said one condition that is not uncommon in horses during the winter is skin irritations from elements in the inner track used to prevent the surface from freezing.

"You see it in their heels and pasterns," Kunz said. "It's really just a maintenance kind of thing - like a skin rash you put cream on."

Shoulder pain forces Gryder to take off mounts

Aaron Gryder, who won Friday's opener, took off his remaining mounts because he was experiencing shoulder pain after an incident in the second race.

Gryder, riding Sweep N the Night, had to take up sharply when Bensonhurst's Best, who was ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan, came over on him in upper stretch.

Bensonhurst's Best was disqualified from first and placed fifth.

- NYRA changed the start date for pick six wagering on Santa Anita races to Jan. 25.

- Aqueduct will be open on Monday for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and closed for live racing on Tuesday and Wednesday. The track will be open for Wednesday simulcasting.