11/25/2003 1:00AM

Bossanova the one to catch


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Bossanova likely will try to play "catch me if you can" when he seeks his first graded stakes victory in Thursday's Grade 3, $100,000 Fall Highweight Handicap at Aqueduct.

The Fall Highweight ignites HolidayFest, a four-day period in which Aqueduct will host six stakes. The Fall Highweight, run at six furlongs, is the featured event on a nine-race Thanksgiving Day card that begins at 11 a.m. Last post is 2:37 p.m.

A field of seven was entered for the Fall Highweight, but the Kentucky-based Sam Lord's Castle was cross-entered in an allowance race Thursday at Churchill and is likely to stay home for that.

Peeping Tom, a Grade 1 winner, is the 138-pound highweight in the Fall Highweight. He will be conceding 10 pounds to Bossanova and 11 to Savoy Special, the only 3-year-olds in the field and the horses with the best early speed.

Bossanova, a New York-bred who won the Mike Lee Handicap by 13 1/4 lengths in June, appears to be the quicker of the two and figures to use post position 2 to his advantage. Bossanova tuned up for the Fall Highweight with an easy victory in a second-level New York-bred allowance race on Nov. 8. Prior to that he faded to fourth after setting rapid early fractions as the 3-10 favorite in the Hudson Handicap on New York Showcase Day.

The Hudson was Bossanova's first start in four months - since having ankle chips removed - and he was unable to withstand the quick early fractions he set.

"He was coming off the layoff and in all honesty I would have liked to have had one more work in him," trainer James Bond said. "I was pushing to make that race and that 21-and-two [second] opening quarter was just suicidal. If he had the race he had two or three weeks ago underneath him, I think he would have got there."

Pat Reynolds, the trainer of Peeping Tom, is hoping Savoy Special will entertain Bossanova on the front end. Peeping Tom has won his last two starts at six furlongs - including an allowance win at The Meadowlands in which he ran 1:08.98 * but he must overcome a double-digit weight spread to the speed.

"It's a concern; he's a light-bodied horse but he's made out of tough stuff," Reynolds said.

Papua is a potential upsetter. He is coming off a nice allowance score at Aqueduct on Nov. 7 and figures to work out a good stalking trip just behind Bossanova and Savoy Special.