01/17/2008 1:00AM

Angliana has already won his biggest battle

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OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Coming off a loss as the 3-5 favorite in an allowance race at Philadelphia Park on New Year's Day, Angliana figures to be overlooked by bettors in Saturday's $75,000 Aqueduct Handicap.

But considering what the horse went through last spring, Angliana may deserve a second look as a value play in the 89th running of the Aqueduct.

Last spring, Angliana underwent surgery for a case of guttural mycosis, a disease that can affect a horse's breathing and in some cases can prove fatal. Guttural mycosis affects the arteries that lead to the throat and can hamper a horse's breathing. If the artery ruptures, a horse can bleed to death.

The diagnosis was made last spring when, after several placings in stakes at Aqueduct - including a second to Liquor Cabinet in the Aqueduct Handicap - Angliana was shipped to Keeneland for a race. One morning after training, Angliana was laboring in his breathing, and Neal McLaughlin, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin's brother and assistant, had the horse examined.

"If they hemorrhage, they could bleed to death," Neal McLaughlin said. "It was a very scary situation."

Already in Lexington, Angliana was shipped to a nearby clinic, where he underwent surgery. He did not return to training until October, and he ran at Philadelphia Park earlier this month, Kiaran McLaughlin said, because similar allowance races in New York were not filling.

In that race, Angliana was beaten four lengths by Emperor Fusaichi, who was recording his fourth consecutive victory and fifth from six starts.

"We were just trying to get him started," Kiaran McLaughlin said. "We obviously thought he could win, but he should benefit a lot from the race. He had a great work last weekend."

Angliana, a 6-year-old son of Giant's Causeway, breezed four furlongs in 47.92 seconds last Sunday morning.

Though he has yet to win a stakes race, Angliana has finished second or third in five of six stakes races.

Accredit goes in Winkfield

Obviously, Accredit was not as bad as his first race suggested. The question now is, Is he as good as his last race suggests?

That answer will come Monday when Accredit goes from a maiden score to stakes company in the $75,000 Jimmy Winkfield Stakes for 3-year-old sprinters. Aqueduct will be open Monday for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. The track will be closed next Tuesday and Wednesday.

Accredit, a son of E Dubai trained by McLaughlin, finished last of eight in his debut at Belmont on Sept. 15. Ten weeks later, Accredit went gate to wire to win a six-furlong maiden race by 1 1/4 lengths while earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 93.

Art Magnusson, McLaughlin's New York assistant, said Accredit was simply green in his debut. After breaking a step slowly from the rail, Accredit appeared to take himself out of the race when he got dirt kicked in his face. In his maiden win, Accredit broke sharply, dueled with heavily favored Tiz It, and then ran away from that horse late.

"We were a little surprised he was that green first time," Magnusson said. "He always trained well. Now we'll find out where we stand, that's for sure."

A field of six is likely for the Winkfield, including All Expenses Paid, Go Go Shoot, Holidaze, Law N Dora, and Laysh Laysh Laysh.

Giant Moon works, eyes Gotham

Giant Moon, the undefeated New York-bred 3-year-old, worked four furlongs in 49.96 seconds Thursday morning over the Belmont Park training track. It was his first breeze since winning the Count Fleet Stakes last month.

Trainer Richard Schosberg had been planning to wait until the weekend to breeze Giant Moon, but a forecast for inclement weather prompted him to move up the drill. Giant Moon worked in company with the New York-bred maiden Fortune Faded, who was given the same time.

"They were going nice and easy," Schosberg said. "It was something just to get his muscles stretched and his lungs open a little bit."

Schosberg reiterated his plan to skip the $100,000 Whirlaway Stakes on Feb. 2 and point to the Grade 3, $250,000 Gotham Breeders' Cup here on March 8. However, Schosberg did say he would nominate to the Whirlaway in case "we make four [starters] and the other three are maidens.''

Giant Moon, a son of Giant's Causeway, has won all four of his starts for owner/breeder Al Fried.

* Barrier Reef, who finished fourth in the Count Fleet, worked five furlongs in 1:02.45 Thursday morning in preparation for a possible start in the Whirlaway.