12/27/2007 12:00AM

Another live Maryland shipper

EmailOZONE PARK, N.Y. - The Maryland-based trainer Michael Trombetta has won with 4 of the last 10 horses he has shipped to New York, with three of those wins coming in stakes races.

Saturday, Trombetta will try to continue his shipping success when he sends up P. Kerney for the Grade 3, $100,000 Gravesend Handicap. The Gravesend, contested at six furlongs over Aqueduct's inner track, was rescheduled for Saturday after being postponed Dec. 16, when that day's card was scrapped due to inclement weather.

P. Kerney, a 6-year-old Maryland-bred gelded son of Pleasant Tap, has won 11 of 27 starts overall and 3 of 5 since being turned over to Trombetta by owners Fred Heyman and Nancy Clark earlier this year.

Two of those wins for Trombetta came against suspect company, but Trombetta said he feels his horse beat a quality field in a Nov.o21 allowance race at Laurel Park.

"He ran against a handful of good horses in there and he absolutely ran a big race that day,'' Trombetta said.

What Trombetta liked most about P. Kerney's race that day was his ability to stalk the pace.

"That was nice to see," Trombetta said. "We hadn't seen that before, and he did that really nicely.''

Five horses were originally entered when the Gravesend was drawn two weeks ago. The delay may bring a different cast that could include Kentucky shipper Junior College and supplemental nominee City Attraction, third in the Fall Highweight last out.

Trainer Tony Dutrow, who entered Ferocious Fires and Pavo two weeks ago, said he would only enter Pavo back. Dutrow cited the potential for an off track as his main reason why he wouldn't run Ferocious Fires, unbeaten in six career starts.

Among those expected to enter back are Joey P. and Gold and Roses.

Nolan's Cat joins Gallant Fox field

The usual suspects will be joined by one intriguing shipper for Saturday's $75,000 Gallant Fox Handicap.

Nolan's Cat, who finished third as a maiden to Afleet Alex in the 2005 Belmont Stakes, is scheduled to ship in from Kentucky for the Gallant Fox, run at 1 5/8 miles. He will face New York's contingent of marathon runners, including Successful Affair, Angelic Aura, Malibu Moonshine, and Nite Light.

Since the Belmont, Nolan's Cat has managed only to win a maiden race at Saratoga in 2005 and a first-level allowance race at Churchill Downs in May 2006. He was away from the races for more than a year, from the fall of 2006 until November when he ran twice in a two-week span. In his first start off the layoff, he finished second to Prom Shoes. Two weeks later, he was fourth, beaten 11 1/4 lengths, in the same second-level allowance condition.

"His first race was good, his second race he came back too quick and ran flat,'' said Mike Maker, the trainer of record for Nolan's Cat's last two races "He's had plenty of time up to this race, so I think he'll run better.''

Nolan's Cat, owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, is based at the Sports Spectrum, a training facility a couple miles away from Churchill Downs. He has put in a series of five-furlong workouts the last three weeks.

"He's a pretty laid back horse; he doesn't necessarily tip his hand in training,'' Maker said. "He's probably your typical long-striding, even-running horse. Hopefully, the distance suits. He ran well in the Belmont Stakes.''

Maker said Alan Garcia will ride Nolan's Cat.

Contessa ties Martin's record

Gary Contessa won Wednesday's first race with Honeymooning ($2.70), giving him his 156th victory on the New York Racing Association circuit this year. That ties the record set by Frank Martin in 1974.

Contessa, who worked under Martin in the early 1980s, was scheduled to have seven chances to break the record on Thursday and entered seven horses for Friday.

Elliott to stay at Big A

After spending the past few winters at Oaklawn Park, jockey Stewart Elliott will stay in New York this winter.

Elliott's agent, Joe Rosen, said the opportunity to ride first call for Steve Asmussen was the major factor in Elliott deciding to stay. Asmussen has about 25 horses stabled at Aqueduct. The fact that Eibar Coa, the inner track's leading rider the last two years, is going to ride at Gulfstream was an added bonus.

Elliott has gone 7 for 17 for Asmussen since the inner-track meet began on Nov. 28.

The last time Elliott rode here regularly was the winter of 2004-05, when he won 41 races from 321 starts and earned $1,488,901.

Six hit pick six worth $91K

Despite three winners in the sequence returning more than $20, there were six winning tickets sold on Wednesday's pick six at Aqueduct. Each ticket returned $91,252. The consolation payout (5 of 6) returned $639.

There was a two-card carryover of $161,694 entering the day. An additional $685,932 was wagered into the pool.

The winning sequence of 1-9-10-2-1-5 consisted of Wild Garden ($3.50), Cherna ($40.40), Hunsley Bunsley ($8.70), Dance Gal Dance ($23.40), Beau Dare ($8.10), and Unbreelievable ($20.40).