04/26/2004 11:00PM

Aud returns in Beaugay

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OZONE PARK, N.Y. - When a couple of allowance races in Kentucky failed to fill for graded stakes winner Aud, her trainer, Tony Reinstedler, went to plan B: Send Aud to New York for Saturday's $150,000 Beaugay Handicap at Aqueduct on the turf.

"This was pretty much a last-minute decision, but I think [the Beaugay] is a good opportunity to get her going," Reinstedler said Tuesday from Churchill Downs. "She's doing super."

A 4-year-old daughter of Wild Again, Aud hasn't run since finishing second in the Grade 2 Mrs. Revere Stakes at Churchill on Nov. 15. Last year, Aud won four of 11 starts, including two stakes at Arlington Park, the Grade 3 Pucker Up and the ungraded Double Delta.

"No doubt later in the fall last year, she proved she was among the best of her generation, and I'm looking forward to building off that this year," said Reinstedler, who trains Aud for Willmott Stables.

Brian Peck, who has ridden Aud in the majority of her races, has the mount.

Reinstedler also thinks highly of Aud's younger half-sister Baxter Hall, who will run Friday at Churchill in the Edgewood Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.

Aud was assigned 117 pounds for the Beaugay. If she starts, Dedication, trained by Christophe Clement, would be the highweight at 118 pounds.

In addition to Aud, the probable starters are Caught in the Rain, Delta Princess, Lojo, Artist Johanna, Bijou, and Pattiano. Brandala is listed as possible.

Short field expected for Withers

While the top 3-year-olds in the country will fill the gate for the Kentucky Derby, a much smaller group is likely for Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000 Withers at Aqueduct. Although the one-mile race drew 27 nominations, there were only four probables as of Tuesday: Forest Danger, Medallist, Pies Prospect, and Two Down Automatic.

Todd Pletcher, who trains Bay Shore winner Forest Danger, is expected to enter Shaniko, who will start only if something prevents Forest Danger from running.

Trainer George Weaver said he's on the fence about running Gotham winner Saratoga County in the Withers and may instead wait for the June 5 Riva Ridge at Belmont.

"I haven't made a final decision; I want to watch him train [Wednesday]," Weaver said Tuesday.

In his last start, Saratoga County finished seventh in the Grade 2 Lexington at Keeneland on April 17.

Trainer Rick Violette said Swingforthefences, fourth in the Wood Memorial, will pass the Withers in favor of the $100,000 Sir Barton at Pimlico on May 15 or the $200,000 Peter Pan at Belmont Park on May 22.

Private Emblem, Gander get back

In Sunday's $100,000-added Kings Point Handicap, New York-bred champions Private Emblem and Gander will return to restricted company for the first time since running in the Empire Classic last October.

Private Emblem, eighth in the Empire Classic, will carry high weight of 123 pounds, one pound more than Gander, the Empire Classic runner-up.

Others expected in the 1 1/8-mile Kings Point are Mr. V. and Levendis. Rogue Agent, sixth in last Saturday's Fort Marcy, is listed as possible.

Gander, an 8-year-old, will be looking to snap an 0-for-7 losing streak at Aqueduct when he runs in the Kings Point.

"He ran pretty well last fall in the Stuyvesant when he was third," said John Terranova II, Gander's trainer. "Hopefully, he has grown out of [losing at Aqueduct]."

Spangled likely favored in allowance

Clement thought enough of Spangled to nominate her to the Beaugay, but he found an easier spot in Thursday's seventh race. The third-level allowance race for older fillies and mares drew eight runners, plus two main-track-only horses, Cativa and Takeiteasydye.

Spangled, with Jose Santos aboard, is the likely favorite in the 1 1/16-mile turf race. In her last start, her first in this country, Spangled won an allowance race at Gulfstream Park on March 29.

Spangled drew post 7.

Perfect Energy, who looks like the lone speed and is a winner over Aqueduct's turf course, is the pick to complete the exacta. In her last start, Perfect Energy was beaten three lengths by Meridiana, who came back to win the Bewitch Stakes at Keeneland on April 21.

* A funeral service for Dorothy Terrill, the wife of former trainer William Terrill, will be held - Training over Saratoga's Oklahoma track was scheduled to begin Thursday.