04/28/2003 12:00AM

Aqueduct: Grey Comet by a head


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Grey Comet, returning to restricted company for the first time since December, won Sunday's $150,000 Times Square Stakes for 3-year-olds at Aqueduct by a head over Raffit.

Grey Comet, ridden for the first time by Jerry Bailey, shot to the early lead in the one-mile Times Square while bearing out down the backstretch. After running a quarter-mile in a sharp 22.96 seconds, Grey Comet settled in second, outside and behind Uncle Camie. Following a half-mile in 45.44 and three-quarters in 1:09.74, Grey Comet had a half-length lead, and he held off a game Raffit. Uncle Camie finished third, seven lengths behind Raffit. Polish Jewel, Tomorrows Banquet, and Beep Beep Beep completed the order of finish.

Grey Comet ($3.20) covered the distance in 1:34.71, a stakes record, over a good track.

Bailey said he was unable to maneuver Grey Comet to the rail down the backside.

"He broke really sharp, but he wanted to bear out," Bailey said. "Once he had a horse inside of him he was fine."

Grey Comet, trained by Gary Contessa, races for owner-breeder Star Track Farms.

The Times Square, for the progeny of New York stallions, was Grey Comet's fifth win in eight starts. Last year, Grey Comet, a son of Distinctive Pro, won two restricted stakes at Aqueduct, the Great White Way and Damon Runyon.

Hanselina posts upset win

Hanselina ($20.60) won the Park Avenue, the filly division of the New York Stallion Stakes. Beautiful America, the heavy favorite, finished fourth following a bad start.

Hanselina won by 1 1/2 lengths over Hot Golden Jet. It was a head back to Golden Damsel, who finished third, 1 3/4 lengths in front of Beautiful America, last year's champion 2-year-old filly New York-bred.

Ridden by Edgar Prado, Hanselina stalked the early leaders, came with a wide move into the stretch, and drew clear late. The final time was 1:36.35.

Hanselina, a daughter of Hansel, is trained by Dominic Galluscio and owned and bred by Peter Mariano.