03/04/2005 1:00AM

Attila's Storm, from stakes to maidens

Email

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - There is no stakes at Aqueduct on Sunday, but those who hammered the 3-year-old to even money in the recent Fred "Cappy" Capossela Stakes can bet him back in a maiden special weight sprint that goes as the fourth race.

Attila's Storm was coming off Beyer Speed Figures of 98 and 97 in his first two career starts at Santa Anita. He finished third in his debut behind Going Wild, who subsequently won the San Miguel and the Sham and was scheduled to run in Saturday's Santa Catalina.

After pressing the pace three wide to midstretch in the Capossela, Attila's Storm tired in the final stages and wound up fourth, beaten three lengths by longshot winner Distinctive Trick.

"I stayed second and was comfortable," said Rafael Bejarano, who rode Attila's Storm in the Capossela and has a return call Sunday. "I had a lot of horse. At the three-eighths when I asked my horse, he ran a little bit, but got tired."

Attila's Storm breaks from post 5 in a field of 10 3-year-old sprinters and should appreciate the drop in class, especially with a race over the inner track under his belt.

The nominal feature is the eighth race, a second-level allowance route at 1 1/16 miles that drew a field of eight older males, including Diligent Gambler.

Purchased for a mere $5,500 as a 2-year-old, Diligent Gambler won nine races last year as a 3-year-old, tied for the most by any Thoroughbred in North America. He has won 4 of 8 starts since claimed by current trainer Leah Gyarmati at Saratoga last summer, including a preliminary allowance at this distance last month in his first start at 4.

Necropolis, a 4-year-old gelding by Seeking the Gold, cost over $2.1 million and has quite a ways to go to earn it back. After winning a sprint in his debut at Philadelphia Park, Necropolis stretched out to win an allowance route here Jan. 26. He stopped badly in his first start at this level, finishing next to last.

Also in the field are Favorite Sweep, Saratoga Jules, Christmas Away, Monocular, Uncle Bruce, and Chelyan.

Bettors playing the early pick four may opt for a single in the first leg, when the venerable sprinter Here's Zealous shoots for his fifth straight win in the second race. Here's Zealous, who has won four straight races dating back to last November, goes first time off the claim by Dominic Galluscio and drew the outside post in a field of seven entered for claiming prices of $50,000-40,000.