12/13/2001 12:00AM

Attard is quick out of the gate


JAMAICA, N.Y. - Trainer Tino Attard got his inner track meet off on the right foot by winning with his first starter of the meet on Wednesday.

Fox Me Not ($12) won a maiden claiming race and is one of the nearly 30 horses Attard brought to New York from Canada for owner Frank Stronach after the conclusion of the Woodbine meet earlier this month.

The Attard horses are bedded down at Belmont Park in trainer Joe Orseno's barn. Orseno, who trains Stronach's New York division, brought his stock to Gulfstream Park for the winter.

Attard came to New York for the first time during the 2000-2001 inner track meet and produced a record of 7-4-15 with 79 starters.

Attard's son and assistant, Kevin, said the stable will have a different look this winter and is largely composed of claimers, rather than the money allowance runners and sprinkling of stakes horses who made up the barn last winter.

"We've bought older stock, and the majority are claimers," Kevin Attard, 26, said. "We also have condition allowance horses and some maidens, but it's more of a claiming effort.

"Last year wasn't bad; it was sort of an experiment," Attard said. "We got some [good] results, but also had some bad luck."

Queensgate, who is owned by Carmen Attard, was among Attard's Aqueduct runners last winter. Queensgate lost four consecutive starts at the Big A, including a sixth-place finish in the Gallant Fox, but Attard said his father is considering another stab at the $100,0000-added Gallant Fox on Dec. 29 for the distance runner, who upset the $100,000 Valedictory at Woodbine on Dec. 2.

"Queensgate had no luck here last year, but since then we have taken off the blinkers and gave him time to freshen, and he's in peak form right now," Attard said.

The younger Attard trained Stronach's 2-year-olds this year at the owner's Adena Springs North farm in Canada. One of those 2-year-olds, El Soprano, won the Grade 2 Summer Stakes in September.

X-rays for Lezcano after spill

Apprentice Lorenzo Lezcano was brought to nearby Jamaica Medical Center for precautionary X-rays after a spill in Thursday's final race.

Lezcano was conscious and moving his arms when he was placed on a stretcher and transported into the ambulance. He complained of pain in his ribs and lower back.

Lezcano, aboard Golden Contender, fell when his mount hit the rail as the field headed into the first turn of the 1 1/16-mile race.

Through Thursday's card, Lezcano, 19, had seven winners at the inner track meet and was tied for second in the standings, two wins behind leader Julian Pimentel, whose five-pound apprentice allowance ended on Thursday.

White Ibis works for Damon Runyon

White Ibis, the favorite for Sunday's $75,000-added Damon Runyon, worked a half-mile in 49.05 seconds, breezing, over Belmont Park's training track on Thursday.

The work came during the last half-mile of a long gallop.

White Ibis stretches out to a 1 1/16 miles in the Damon Runyon after three consecutive wins in restricted stakes around one turn.

Richard DeStasio, White Ibis's trainer, said his 2-year-old has been feeling sharp lately and the gelding's work on Thursday should settle him for his two-turn debut.

"It tempered him a bit," DeStasio said.

The Damon Runyon might have gained a couple of runners when a first-level allowance race for New York-breds didn't fill for Saturday. Michael's Temper and Red's Red, who entered the allowance race, and Private Practice are now possible to join Eye of the Comet, Netcong, No Parole, and Papua.

Watch for Gone Musical

Trainer John Kimmel looks like he has a good one on his hands in Gone Musical, who won her second race in as many starts on Wednesday.

Loretta Lusteg, Kimmel's assistant, said Thursday that Gone Musical, a 2-year-old New York-bred daughter of Gone West, will leave Saturday for Kimmel's Payson Park barn.

"John likes her a little too much to keep her in the miserable weather," said Lusteg, who said she didn't know Kimmel's plans for the filly.

Kimmel is on a skiing vacation with his children in Canada and is expected to return on Sunday.

Lukas colt River Gambler euthanized

A promising D. Wayne Lukas-trained 2-year-old, River Gambler, broke his leg during Thursday workout at Belmont and was euthanized on the training track, near the wire. River Gambler, an Overbrook Farm homebred, won a six-furlong maiden race in 1:10.26 in his second start at Aqueduct on Nov. 28. Twelve days earlier, River Gambler, a son of Capote, finished second in his career debut.

The colt's exercise rider was brought to North Shore University Hospital for evaluation, according to Lukas assistant Mike Maker.

Lukas's New York division is now under Maker's care after another Lukas assistant, Mike Marlow, departed two weeks ago to train his own string of horses in California, according to Maker.