01/19/2008 1:00AM

Angliana shows he's still kicking


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The horse whose career was deemed over last spring beat the gelding whose career seems endless in Saturday's Aqueduct Handicap.

Angliana, who needed surgery last April to correct a potentially life-threatening ailment, took the lead inside the eighth pole en route to a one-length victory in the $81,600 Aqueduct Handicap. Evening Attire, making his 10-year-old debut, ran down Judiths Wild Rush in the final stride to get second by a nose.

The victory was the first in a stakes race for Angliana, a 6-year-old son of Giant's Causeway who finished second in this race last year. Last spring, however, Angliana was diagnosed with guttural mycosis, an ailment that can cause a horse to bleed to death.

"He had a cyst in a sinus, and a couple of vets said he'd never run again, so this is great,'' said Art Magnuson, the assistant to trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.

Magnuson also used the word great to describe Alan Garcia's ride aboard Angliana. With Pink Viper and Judiths Wild Rush hooking up from the start and dueling through a half-mile in 46.84 seconds, Garcia had Angliana in third down the backside.

Judiths Wild Rush, under C.C. Lopez, put away Pink Viper turning for home, but was soon confronted by Angliana. Judiths Wild Rush put up a fight through the stretch, but Angliana was going the better of the two in the final furlong. Evening Attire, off to his customary slow start, just nipped Judiths Wild Rush on the wire for second, his third second-place finish in this race. Evening Attire won the Aqueduct as a 4-year-old in 2002.

Angliana, owned by Alvin Haynes, covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.25 and returned $11.20 to win.

"I expected to go by him easier than that," Garcia said. "The other horse, he kept going. I said, 'Oh my god, I have to work a little more,' but after that he finished good."

After watching how well speed was doing earlier in the card, Pat Kelly, the trainer of Evening Attire, was pessimistic about his gelding's chances.

"I thought we were up against it," Kelly said. "I've been leery of it all along. It's all we can ask for is an effort. This will set him up good for the Stymie."

An Angliana-Evening Attire rematch could occur in the $75,000 Stymie Handicap on March 1.