01/22/2002 12:00AM

Carafe half-full or half-empty?


JAMAICA, N.Y. - The company Carafe has been keeping gives her an edge over her competition in Thursday's feature at Aqueduct, a $47,000 third-level allowance race.

Joining Carafe in the six-furlong race are Arpeggio, Juke Joint Jenny, Dotsie's Doll, and Silent Serenade.

In the last year, Carafe, a 4-year-old Devil's Bag filly, has been pitted against stakes winners such as Xtra Heat, Dat You Miz Blue, Raging Fever, and Victory Ride, with mixed results.

The good news for the handicappers inclined to back Carafe is that there are no bears in the field. The bad news is that Carafe is without a win in three starts over the inner track.

Carafe, who is trained by Shug McGaughey, was fifth in her last start, the Interborough Handicap, here on Jan. 1. The result was not a disgrace for Carafe. Xtra Heat, the Interborough winner and one of the best sprinters in the county - female or male - beat Carafe by only 7 3/4 lengths.

Javier Castellano, the leader rider at the meet, has the mount for McGaughey. Carafe, a closer, drew the rail and will benefit from the presence of speed in this field.

Depending upon she handles the long layoff, Juke Joint Jenny, a front-runner, might be the horse to beat. Juke Joint Jenny had some hard luck at the inner track meet last year when she was disqualified from first place on two occasions for causing interference.

Chuck Lopez will ride Juke Joint Jenny, who makes her first start since May 2001 for trainer Allen Iwinski, from post 3.

Silent Serenade and Dotsie's Doll bring more speed to the mix although neither of the mares exhibited that trait in their last starts.

Silent Serenade won a $60,000 claimer over the inner track on Dec. 14 after setting the pace in the six-furlong race. Trainer Charles Carlesimo ran his mare back in allowance company against two nice fillies, Dancing Fool and Celtic Melody, in the slop on Jan. 9. Silent Serenade finished third behind Dancing Fool, who won the race after controlling the pace and holding off the runner-up and favorite, Celtic Melody, in the stretch.

Dotsie's Doll was absolutely no factor when she broke in the air and finished fifth and last behind Silent Serenade on Jan. 9. It was Dotsie's Doll's first race since Oct. 25 when she was claimed for $50,000 at Keeneland.

Arpeggio, who will be coming from off the pace, usually finds a way to finish among the top three.

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