01/12/2005 12:00AM

Board Elligible passes chance to rest


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The connections of Board Elligible were considering giving their iron-constituted mare a little break following her second-place finish in last month's Ladies Handicap.

But with the competition around here this time of year fairly soft, and the mare showing no ill effects from a rigorous campaign, Board Elligible will make her 5-year-old debut in Saturday's $75,000 Affectionately Handicap at Aqueduct.

"I think she's doing better for this race than she was her last race," trainer James Ferraro said. "She was a little dull for her last race, and she still finished second. She seemed to have bounced back now, and she's jumping out of her skin again."

Ferraro noted that following a slow five-furlong workout in 1:03.01 on Monday, Board Elligible "was on her hind legs again."

Board Elligible has raced 32 times in the last two years with nary a break. The New York-bred daughter of Goldminers Gold won a restricted stakes on Belmont Stakes Day last year and romped to a five-length score in the Montauk on Nov. 28. Last summer, Board Elligible was knocking heads with Sightseek, Azeri, and Storm Flag Flying.

She will not be meeting the likes of those fillies in the Affectionately, which has been downgraded to a listed race and had its purse cut from $100,000 to $75,000.

At 119 pounds, Board Elligible will be the starting highweight under Pablo Fragoso. Her opponents are expected to include Twist and Pop (116 pounds), Bounding Charm (115), Richetta (115), Saintliness (115), and Mariakel (113). Our Rite of Spring (114) and Fait Accompli (113) are possible.

Daddy Joe unlikely for Count Fleet

There will be one noticeable absentee from the Count Fleet when it is redrawn and run this Saturday, after having been postponed last weekend due to unsafe track conditions.

Daddy Joe, a sharp maiden winner on Dec. 11, has a bruised left front foot and will most likely skip the race, trainer Jennifer Pedersen said.

"It's not a big deal, but I don't want to run him; he'd be short," said Pedersen, who noted that owner Ernie Paragallo would have the final say on running. "He's fine now, but we missed a work."

Originally, 13 horses were entered in the Count Fleet, a race for 3-year-olds. Four of the entrants ran in an entry-level allowance race last Sunday. If Daddy Joe indeed skips the race, then a field of eight will likely go off on Saturday.

Expected to enter back are Father Weist, Killenaule, Lakeville Rush, Lucky Alarm, Naughty New Yorker, Qualified Opinion, Scrappy T, and Tani Maru.

Pedersen said that Pavo, who is nominated to the Count Fleet, would most likely run in Monday's $75,000 Jimmy Winkfield Stakes at six furlongs. On Tuesday, Pavo worked five furlongs in 1:00.05 over Aqueduct's inner track.

A field of seven is expected for the Winkfield, formerly the Best Turn: Gold Joy, Lieutenant Danz, Maddy's Lion, More Smoke, Primal Storm, and Smokin Forest.

Mrs. Doyle has slight edge in feature

Everything trainer Robert Bailes has started at this meet has run well, including Mrs. Doyle, who gets another chance to clear the entry-level allowance condition in Friday's $44,000 feature over the inner track.

Bailes, who is stabled in New York for the first time, has a record of 1-3-1 from five starters at this meet. Mrs. Doyle, a 5-year-old Maryland-bred mare, was a rallying second at this level on Dec. 10. She has alternated firsts and seconds in her last four starts and gets a rider switch to Alan Garcia for this race.

Garcia had previously ridden Tax the Queen, but was sacked by the connections of that horse when he took up on Tax the Queen in the stretch, costing her second place in this condition on Dec. 31. Tax the Queen shows a bullet half-mile work in the interim and gets a rider change to Shaun Bridgmohan. She carries top weight of 123 pounds.

South Wing finished a length ahead of Tax the Queen while falling a neck short in that Dec. 31 race. South Wing must overcome post 10.

Elliott escapes spill unscathed

Approaching the sixteenth pole in Wednesday's second race, jockey Stewart Elliott thought he was en route to victory aboard Brush With Fame. In an instant, Elliott found himself in the mud as Brush With Fame broke down, unseating him.

Elliott, who guided Smarty Jones to victory in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, was uninjured and rode his only remaining mount on the card. Brush With Fame suffered a compound fracture of the sesamoid bones in his right front ankle and was later euthanized.

"I thought he was on his way to win and then he just broke down," Elliott said.

Elliott did not blame the injury on the track, which was muddy and sealed from Tuesday night's rain.

"I think it was just one of those things," Elliott said.

* Later on the card, Jose Espinoza was unseated when his mount, Gold Ending, stumbled after being squeezed at the start from both sides. Espinoza complained of general soreness and took off his one remaining mount.

* Jockey Ariel Smith took off his last two mounts on Wednesday, complaining of soreness in the knee that he bruised in a spill last month.