02/10/2004 1:00AM

Bossanova set for return to races


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Bossanova, the gate-to-wire winner of last November's Fall Highweight Handicap, arrived in New York from Florida on Tuesday morning and will make his seasonal debut in Sunday's $75,000 Hollie Hughes Handicap at Aqueduct, trainer James Bond confirmed.

Bossanova, a 4-year-old son of Pine Bluff, will be the co-starting highweight at 122 pounds along with last year's Hollie Hughes winner. Papua, who finished second behind Bossanova in the Fall Highweight. The presence of those two figures to keep the Hollie Hughes field to six or seven starters. Others possible to run include Impeacthepro (117), Lord Ofthe Thunder (117), Unswept (114), Introspect (114), and Sunnyridge Sam (113).

Bossanova has not run since winning the Grade 3 Fall Highweight last Thanksgiving. After being transferred to trainer James Bond last spring, Bossanova won 3 of 4 starts, including the Mike Lee Handicap by 13 1/4 lengths.

Bond said he stopped on Bossanova after the Fall Highweight because he had pushed him earlier in the fall to make the Hudson Handicap in October, a race in which he finished fourth. That was his first start after having ankle chips removed following the Mike Lee.

"The Fall Highweight was my next goal, and we got lucky and got the job done there," Bond said from Florida. "I figured we'd give him a little bit of a break, and I wanted to get him up there for the Carter" on April 10.

"He was doing pretty good down here," Bond said, "and I didn't want to run against Cajun Beat and those horses down here at this time, so I thought this may be a good situation for him."

Bossanova has been in training at the Palm Meadows training center in Boynton Beach, Fla. He shows five works since Jan. 12, including a five-furlong move in 1:00 on Sunday.

While Bossanova has not run since the Fall Highweight, Papua came back to run fifth in the Gravesend Handicap in December. Trainer Mike Hushion had considered turning Papua out, but opted simply to skip the Paumonok Handicap in January and point for this. On Monday, Papua worked a half-mile in 49.04 seconds at Belmont.

"Everything's on target," said Hushion, who said Mike Luzzi would ride since regular rider Richard Migliore will be in Florida. "We were deciding whether to give him time off or not, and instead we decided to skip a race and freshen him up a little bit. He seems fine."

Quick Action likely for Gotham

Quick Action, who finished third as the favorite in Saturday's Whirlaway Stakes, will most likely make his next start in the Grade 3, $200,000 Gotham Stakes here on March 20. While his connections were not discouraged with Quick Action's first attempt around two turns, the Gotham, a one-turn mile, seems like a perfect fit for the son of Carson City.

"We're going to nominate him to the Swale," a seven-furlong race at Gulfstream Park on March 13, "but we're going to point him for the Gotham," said Peter Hutton, assistant to trainer D. Wayne Lukas.

Hutton said he and Lukas felt Quick Action may have been compromised by breaking from an inside post in the Whirlaway, a race in which he battled two other horses through fast early fractions before giving way late. "Wayne said if he gets an outside post, it's highly unlikely they beat him," Hutton said. "He can dictate his own race as opposed to having it dictated to him. I think the one-turn mile will really suit him."

Dutrow: I won't lie to stewards

Trainer Richard Dutrow Jr., who had to scratch four horses from Sunday's card because he feared they would test positive for clenbuterol, said Tuesday he would not lie to the stewards in the future if he were fined and/or suspended for this incident.

On Monday, Dutrow said he didn't think he deserved a suspension or a fine for notifying the stewards early Sunday morning that his horses had been treated with clenbuterol and may have tested positive had they run. On Monday, Dutrow said, "If they're going to fine me, then I'm going to start lying to them all the time."

Tuesday, Dutrow said, "I'm not the kind of guy who's going to go around lying to those people, you know that and they know that."

State steward Carmine Donofrio said Tuesday he and his fellow stewards would like to talk to Dutrow upon his return from Florida. Donofrio said it is possible Dutrow could be fined for "failing to tend to business in a proper manner." It is unlikely Dutrow would be suspended.

Donofrio said all four horses were put on a seven-day vet's list, meaning they cannot be entered to race for a seven-day period from the incident. Donofrio said that is standard procedure for all vet scratches "and this is technically a vet scratch," Donofrio said.

Carroll looks to remain hot

Trainer Del Carroll, who won two races on Sunday's card, sends out Coined for Success, the horse to beat in Thursday's featured entry-level allowance race for New York-bred 3-year-olds.

Coined for Success, a gelded son of Gold Token, was a six-length maiden winner over the inner rack on Jan. 17. He went gate to wire that afternoon and figures to be forwardly placed once again under Javier Castellano. He has top weight of 122 pounds, spotting three to with pounds to five rivals.

Gates Avenue, who showed promise winning his maiden going seven furlongs over the main track last Thanksgiving, makes his 3-year-old debut in this spot. Gates Avenue hasn't run since finishing a well-beaten sixth in the Damon Runyon Stakes, a two-turn race over the inner track.

Lisa Lewis becomes the fourth trainer to put a saddle on Wee David, who makes his sixth career start in this heat. Wee David beat open company at Charles Town going 4 1/2 furlongs at Charles Town on Dec. 31.

Whizbang, Calculator, and Absolutely Joe complete the field.