02/22/2006 1:00AM

Big Apple Daddy switches targets

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Big Apple Daddy will skip the Toboggan to await the Carter on April 8.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Bruce Levine had just finished formulating Plan A when the trainer learned he already had to go to Plan B with his ace sprinter Big Apple Daddy.

Levine said he felt that Big Apple Daddy's win in Sunday's Hollie Hughes was impressive enough to warrant giving the New York-bred 4-year-old colt a chance in an open-company stakes. Levine thought the General George Handicap on March 18 at Laurel Park would be a good spot to do just that. By Tuesday morning, that plan had to be scrapped when Levine learned that officials from the Maryland Jockey Club announced the General George would be canceled for this year due to restrictions placed on travel in and out of Maryland because of problems associated with the outbreak of equine herpesvirus.

Now, Levine is likely to run Big Apple Daddy in the Grade 1 Carter Handicap over Aqueduct's main track on April 8.

"I thought the General George was a good way to test the waters to see if he can do that,'' Levine said Wednesday, referring to facing open company. "In my mind he could do that.''

Last Sunday, a day in which speed reigned supreme over the inner track, Big Apple Daddy rallied from last to win the Hollie Hughes, collaring and passing the speedy Introspect in deep stretch. Big Apple Daddy ran six furlongs in 1:11.49 and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 97. Though Big Apple Daddy is now 3 for 5 over the inner rack, Levine does not want to run him back in the Grade 3 Toboggan on March 11.

"I think he has to run too hard,'' Levine said. "I'm kind of thinking I was lucky the other day that he was able to circle the field on that track. Maybe he was just better than them. Against the better-quality horses, he's not going to be able to do that.''

The Carter is run at seven furlongs, a distance that Levine said he believes is Big Apple Daddy's best. Though he may face horses such as Breeders' Cup Sprint winner Silver Train, Levine said it's worth taking a chance in the Grade 1 Carter.

"If he gets his head handed to him, so be it,'' Levine said. "If he's healthy and doing good, I'll probably take my shot.''

Amazing Buy to try Rare Treat

Amazing Buy, who was entered to run in Thursday's Flip's Pleasure Stakes at six furlongs, was expected to scratch from that race and start in Saturday's $65,000 Rare Treat at 1 1/8 miles.

Ernie Paragallo, who heads the family-owned Paraneck Stable, said he felt the two turns of the Rare Treat "may play better for her'' than the Flip's Pleasure.

Amazing Buy is a two-time stakes winner over the inner track, having taken the Busanda and Busher stakes - both two-turn races - last winter. Amazing Buy also won the Pennsylvania Oaks, a two-turn mile race at Philadelphia Park last September.

Paragallo isn't sure Amazing Buy wants to run the 1 1/8 miles of the Rare Treat, and added she could be retired, win or lose Saturday. She will be bred to Unbridled's Song when she is retired, Paragallo said.

A short field is expected for the Rare Treat, led by Bohemian Lady, the seven-length winner of the Affectionately in January, and India Halo, a head winner over Bohemian Lady in the 10-furlong Ladies Handicap in December.

Bayou Breeze, winner of the Revidere Stakes last June at Monmouth Park, is also expected to run.

Fast Laner retired

Fast Laner, who won the Dixie Flag Stakes in her last start on Jan. 16, came out of that race with a slab fracture in a knee and has been retired, trainer Richard Schosberg said.

, a daughter of Mutakddim, won 10 of 24 career starts, earned $272,283 and was a popular commodity at the claim box. Fast Laner was claimed on five occasions and spent time in the barn of six trainers during his career.

Schosberg claimed Fast Laner last Nov. 25 for $40,000 and won 2 of 3 races with her. She also finished second for Schosberg in the Interborough Handicap.

"We accomplished what we wanted to accomplish and she'll be a broodmare now,'' Schosberg said.

City Dweller one to catch in feature

If the inner track remains as speed favoring as it was over the Presidents Day weekend, could be tough to beat in Friday's featured entry-level allowance race at six furlongs.

On Feb. 1, in an entry-level allowance race here, City Dweller blew a 4 1/2-length lead and was beaten 2 1/2 lengths by Sunshine Alpine, who was winning his second straight race. Sunshine Alpine finished second in last Saturday's Capossela Stakes. Like Now, the horse that won the Capossela, beat City Dweller by six lengths last November.

look like the main threats. Closing Bell takes another class rise after winning two straight for Gary Contessa. Napoleon T N T comes off a front-running maiden score after finishing last behind Achilles of Troy in a Dec. 29 maiden race in the slop.

* Achilles of Troy, who went on to win the Count Fleet and Whirlaway stakes after that Dec. 29 win, worked five furlongs in 1:01.81 Wednesday morning at Aqueduct. Achilles of Troy is expected to make his next start in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes here on March 18.

* Daytime Promise, the Busanda winner, worked five furlongs in 1:00.93 - the fastest of 12 at the distance - Wednesday morning at Aqueduct in anticipation for her start in Sunday's $65,000 Busher Stakes.