12/11/2001 1:00AM

Card almost feels like Saratoga


JAMAICA, N.Y. - Considering the time of year and the day of the week, the second Thursday card of Aqueduct's inner-dirt track winter meet came up relatively strong.

There are only two claiming races on the program, and the pick four on the last four races of the afternoon begins with a maiden special-weight sprint that contains some regally bred 2-year-olds, and concludes with three straight allowance races.

Are we sure this isn't one of those non-stakes Thursdays at Saratoga?

The pick four begins with a six-furlong maiden race, and it drew an overflow field of 16 2-year-olds, including four also-eligibles. Among the 16 are Cayenne Gold, a half-brother to Grade 1 winners Solar Splendor and Sultry Song; and Safe in the U S A, a Gone West colt out of the champion sprinter Safely Kept.

Cayenne Gold showed some improvement last month in his third lifetime start, gets blinkers on, and is trained by Bill Mott, New York's top winner of 2-year-old races this season.

The seventh is an entry-level allowance at one mile and 70 yards that drew a field of five 2-year-old fillies, all of whom are exiting maiden victories by open lengths.

Bella Luce, a poorly kept secret when she won her debut sprinting on the main track three weeks ago at 4-5, stretches out to a route, and figures to be a slight favorite over Totaly Wild.

Totaly Wild romped by nearly a dozen lengths when stretched out to two turns at Pimlico two months ago. She ships in for Maryland-based owner/trainer Tony Dutrow, and Mario Pino is along for the ride. This same combination won an allowance sprint on the inner track last Thursday with Nice Boots Baby, who was also meeting winners following a maiden victory in October.

The "featured" eighth - the term is used loosely - is an entry-level allowance for 3-year-olds and up at a mile and 70 yards.

The field consists of seven familiar faces who have run locally and two new shooters in Mickey the Groom and Latino Americano.

Mickey the Groom, the most lightly raced horse in the field, breaks from the rail after a 6 1/2-length maiden victory at Laurel last start. His 400 Tomlinson rating for wet tracks suggests he could benefit if rain arrives on Thursday.

Latino Americano, who has raced exclusively at Woodbine thus far, breaks from post 8, and gets a positive rider switch to Edgar Prado. Latino Americano has finished second in all three of his wet-track starts.

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