02/27/2003 12:00AM

Busher experiment: Two turns


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - After winning 5 of 7 lifetime starts sprinting, Elegant Designer tries something different in Saturday's $75,000-added Busher Stakes at Aqueduct.

Elegant Designer, who in her last start won the Great State Challenge Juvenile Fillies at Sam Houston in December, makes her first start around two turns in the 1 1/16-mile Busher for 3-year-old fillies.

Elegant Designer is trained by Tony Dutrow. Her main rival in the seven-horse field is Busanda winner Cyber Secret, who is trained by Dutrow's brother, Richard Jr.

Elegant Designer, a daughter of Suave Prospect, is the likely favorite as she shoots for her fourth consecutive win.

Before winning the Great State Challenge by two lengths, Elegant Designer won an Aqueduct allowance race by 3 3/4 lengths in October and was a three-length winner of the Joe O'Farrell Juvenile Fillies at Calder in November. She came from off the pace in each of those wins.

Elegant Designer has wintered at Dutrow's Laurel Park barn and even though the weather in the Maryland area has been brutal, Dutrow said he hasn't missed a significant amount of training time with the filly.

"It's been spotty this winter, for sure," said Dutrow, who trains Elegant Designer for Michael Sherman. "But it is not a concern with this race."

Dutrow said he is uncertain if Elegant Designer will handle the two turns, but there is only one way to find out.

"I figured it's a good time to find out because it's early in her 3-year-old season," he said.

Mario Pino rides Elegant Designer, who drew post 3.

When she ran in the Busanda, Cyber Secret was in the same boat as Elegant Designer is on Saturday. The mile and 70-yard Busanda on Jan. 26 was Cyber Secret's first start in a route after two career wins in sprints.

With Jean-Luc Samyn in the saddle, Cyber Secret, the favorite, controlled the pace in the Busanda. The comfortable advantage she held in the stretch was whittled down to a length at the wire.

"They were catching her in the end a little bit," Samyn said. "She eased up a bit, actually. We'll see how this race unfolds, so we can save her for the end."

Cyber Secret drew post 5.

Paraneck Stables sends out the coupled entry of Xtra Heart, the Busanda runner-up, and Virgin Voyage. Bavarian Girl makes her stakes debut after back-to-back wins around two turns on the inner track for trainer Ken McPeek.

Formal Dancer, who will have blinkers on, and Golden Damsel complete the field.

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