03/05/2002 1:00AM

'Buy Buy' has mature attitude


JAMAICA, N.Y. - With 32 wins - eight more than his nearest competitor - entering the final week of inner track racing at Aqueduct, Gary Contessa has all but wrapped up the trainer's title at the winter meet.

How well he does in future meets will depend on the progression of his young horses. One horse Contessa believes has a big future is Double Buy Buy, a first-out maiden winner who makes his second career start in Thursday's feature, a preliminary allowance race for 3-year-olds at six furlongs.

Double Buy Buy overcame a slow start and a slight steady at the midway point of his debut, which he won by 1 1/4 lengths after rallying along the rail under Robbie Davis.

"Most horses can't handle being on the inside eating dirt,'' Contessa said. "``I was very pleased to see him show a lot of courage and overcome adversity in his first start. He made a move on the rail, checked at the three-eighths pole, and made a second move, which you don't often see horses do in their first start.''

Contessa puts Double Buy Buy in the same category as Sherm, a New York-bred who turned heads with a 15-length victory in his debut. Contessa pointed out that the two were workmates.

"I'd take turns putting one 10 lengths in front of the other and they'd finish up on even terms,'' Contessa said. "Sherm is a little better, but he isn't lengths better.''

Since his maiden win, Double Buy Buy has recorded a pair of bullet workouts, including a three-furlong move in 35 seconds Saturday. Double Buy Buy should benefit from a solid pace and his outside post Thursday.

Moonshadow Gold holds a significant experience advantage over Double Buy Buy and will likely be favored. Moonshadow Gold was beaten a half-length at this level on Feb. 18 in his first start off the Scott Lake claim. Travis Dunkelberger, who returns to action after suffering a cracked rib in a Feb. 9 spill, has the call.

Wrangler likely for Toboggan

, recent winner of the Grade 2 General George Handicap at Laurel Park, will most likely make his next start in the $100,000 Toboggan Handicap on March 16, trainer Jimmy Jerkens said Tuesday.

Initially, Jerkens said Wrangler would likely skip the Toboggan and point for the Grade 1 Carter Handicap on April 13. But because Wrangler does not like to train much in the morning, Jerkens said he would prefer to run the horse before the Carter.

"He won't go the right way on the track in the morning,'' Jerkens said. "When we worked him we used to work him out of the gate, but he got hip to that and the last time he almost refused. We don't want him to get into bad gate habits.''

Wrangler has won six of his last eight starts, including all three for Jerkens.

The Toboggan, run at seven furlongs, closed with 17 nominations. Among the horses pointing to the race are Affirmed Success, King's Messenger, Run Kush Run, Silky Sweep, and Vodka.