03/08/2002 12:00AM

Arromanches given back to Lake


JAMAICA, N.Y. - Arromanches, the amazing 9-year-old who had his 10-race winning streak snapped in his last start, has been transferred back to the barn of trainer Scott Lake.

Owner Bruce Golden claimed Arromanches from Lake for $50,000 on Feb. 2 and gave him to lifelong friend Arthur Wendel to train. At the time, Wendel was on a 94-race losing streak dating back to May 5, 2000.

Wendel's losing streak had reached 97 when he ran Arromanches on Feb. 28 in a $75,000 claiming race. Arromanches finished fifth, beaten 12 3/4 lengths. It snapped a 10-race winning streak that began on May 27, 2001.

"I thought he was going to win the race," Golden said. "I thought if I was going to lose the race I would lose by a nose. I came in fifth. It was heartbreaking, it really was."

According to Lake, Golden came to his barn the day after the race.

"He said, 'What can you tell me about the horse?' " Lake said Friday. "I told him that I told Arthur pretty much everything and that anything else I told [Golden] would be telling him my style of training."

Lake said Golden asked him if he thought Arromanches had anything left and mentioned that Gary Contessa, another former trainer of Arromanches, was interested in buying the horse. Lake said he told Golden he did believe Arromanches had something left and asked if he could have an opportunity to buy the horse.

At that point, Golden asked Lake if he would be interested in training Arromanches. When Lake agreed, Golden turned Arromanches and another horse over to Lake.

"I was with him for five years," Golden said of Wendel. "I figured I bought Arromanches maybe we could get into the winner's circle. It didn't work out. It was time to move on. I have nothing bad to say about Arthur, he is a nice guy, an honest guy."

Wendel, whose winless streak is now 99, said he was disappointed to lose Arromanches, but declined to say anything negative about Golden. He is now down to three horses.

"It's a setback," Wendel, 82, said. "Life will go on, I will go on."

Lake said he would look to run Arromanches in a $50,000 claiming race at the end of March.

Lake-Dunkelberger a hot team

Golden hopes that Lake is as hot by the time he sends out Arromanches as he was Friday at Aqueduct, when Lake saddled three winners from four starters. Lake also sent out the winner of Thursday's nightcap. Lake now has 28 wins at the meet, but is unlikely to catch Gary Contessa, who had 35 wins entering the weekend.

Travis Dunkelberger was aboard for all four of Lake's winners, matching his win total from the first few weeks in New York since he came up to ride from Maryland on Jan. 30. Dunkelberger was making his first appearance in New York since fracturing a rib in a spill on Feb. 9.

"They don't hurt in the race," Dunkelberger said when asked how his ribs were.

Dunkelberger, who relocated to New York to ride first call for Lake, said he is not sure if he is going to stay in New York this spring.

"My wife doesn't really want to me to stay up here," said Dunkelberger, who noted that he also has children ages 2 and 5 waiting for him in West Virginia. "It's kind of hard to stay away from them for five days a week."

Eight in a row for Dutrow

From the Big Apple to the Big Easy, trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. is unbeatable.

When Northeast Winds ($12.40) won Friday's fifth race at Aqueduct, it was the eighth consecutive winner Dutrow has sent out. The streak began on March 2 at Fair Grounds with Graze. Dutrow sent out One Tuff Fox to win at Fair Grounds on Monday and Bodyguard to win in New Orleans on Thursday.

Meanwhile, at Aqueduct, Dutrow has won with his last five runners. He saddled Justoneofdaboyz and Rich in Glory to victory on Wednesday, Place Kicker and Stephanie's Angel on Thursday and Northeast Winds Friday.

Frankel, Violette on Gotham fence

As of Friday, there were only four confirmed starters for the $200,000 Gotham Stakes on March 17: Mayakovsky, Saarland, Saratoga Blues, and Parade of Music.

Trainers Bobby Frankel and Rick Violette are debating whether to send their 3-year-olds, Medaglia D'oro and My Man Ryan, respectively, out in the one-mile Gotham, which serves as a prep for the Grade 1 Wood Memorial on April 13.

Frankel purchased Medaglia D'oro for Edmund Gann from owner Joyce Bell after the colt won his maiden by 4 1/4 lengths at Oaklawn Park on Feb. 9.

"He's run good, fast races," Frankel said. "I got a look at his races and it looks like he wants to stretch out."

Frankel is also considering the San Felipe at Santa Anita on the same day as the Gotham or an entry-level allowance race, though there are none in the condition book at Santa Anita. Frankel has until Friday to make a decision. That's when the plane bringing Mayakovsky to New York is scheduled to leave.

Violette is torn between walking My Man Ryan out of his Aqueduct stall for the Gotham or shipping him to Kentucky for the $500,000 Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park on March 23.

"The Gotham is coming up a solid race although a couple of the major players are coming off significant layoffs," Violette said. "There's a lot to be said for leading a house out of your own barn door. But there's a lot of money at the Spiral."

The leading contenders for the Spiral are Request Parole and Perfect Drift, the one-two finishers from the John Battaglia Memorial Stakes last week.

"They're very solid horses," Violette said. "I'm not sure either one of them will relish the extra sixteenth of a mile. I think we'll get a mile and an eighth."

Tank's Expectation, runner-up in the Best Turn Stakes, is also possible for the Gotham.

* Heavyweight Champ, unraced since finishing fifth in the Hollywood Prevue Stakes on Nov. 17, worked three furlongs in 35.63 seconds Friday over Belmont's training track. His trainer, John Terranova, said he is pointing the 3-year-old sprinter to the $150,000 Bay Shore Stakes on April 13.