11/29/2004 12:00AM

Carryover for opener of inner track


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - A pick-six carryover and a rainy forecast help usher in Aqueduct's inner track meet on Wednesday. Racing for the next three months will be conducted over the winterized one mile oval, known for its tight turns and speed-favoring nature.

Sixty-five racing cards are scheduled between Wednesday and March 6. Of course, Mother Nature will help determine how many are actually run. Parts or all of 21 cards have been lost because of inclement weather the last two winters.

The nation's winningest trainer and jockey in 2004 will be in action during the inner-track meet. For the first time, trainer Steve Asmussen will have about 30 head in New York this winter. Asmussen has already set the record for most victories in one year by a trainer and had 514 through Sunday. Joe Orseno, Mike Petro, and Robert Bailes head the list of out-of-town trainers bringing sizable outfits here this winter.

Richard Dutrow led all trainers with 47 wins during last year's inner-track meet, and he is coming off an Aqueduct main-track meet in which he won 19 races, more than double his nearest rival. Bruce Levine, Scott Lake, Gary Contessa, and Jennifer Pedersen all enjoyed success last winter.

Jockey Rafael Bejarano leads the country in wins with 424, including his first New York stakes score in Sunday's Fall Highweight. He will battle for leading honors with defending inner-track champ Pablo Fragoso, as well as Shaun Bridgmohan, Stewart Elliott, and winter regulars Mike Luzzi, Richard Migliore, and a bevy of apprentice riders.

Wednesday's opening-day card includes a pick six carryover of $42,623. The card features seven six-furlong races. The afternoon's feature is a second-level allowance for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles. has won her last two dirt starts, including a 12 3/4-length romp in the slop on Nov. 12. After the Tone and Old Mother Goose are contenders as well.

Coeus, who overcame trouble to win a six-furlong maiden race first time out, wheels back in two weeks for his first try against winners in the seventh race. Forestwood tries to bounce back from a dismal showing at 6-5 on Travers Day.

Horses for courses is an angle that works particularly well during the inner-track meet. In the fifth, had a win and a second here last year. Also in the sixth, Gold Like U won over the inner track off a bad race on the main track. She follows that same pattern here.