01/17/2007 1:00AM

Cavallo Pazzo back sprinting


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - In addition to possessing the necessary resources to make good high-priced claims, horsemen must sometimes display patience and perseverance to see one through. Such has been the case with Cavallo Pazzo, who was away from the races for 10 months after being haltered for $75,000 by trainer Tony Dutrow on behalf of owners Sanford Goldfarb and Michael Dubb.

Since returning to the races last September, however, Cavallo Pazzo has proven to be well worth the wait, winning 3 of 4 starts. He makes his 4-year-old debut in a salty optional claiming race Friday at Aqueduct. The six-furlong race, open to third-level allowance horses and those running for a $75,000 claiming tag, drew a solid field of nine, including the venerable 9-year-old Spooky Mulder.

Dutrow claimed Cavallo Pazzo for $75,000 on Nov. 2, 2005, a day he finished third to subsequent Gotham Stakes winner Like Now. Dutrow said Cavallo Pazzo came out of that race with a condylar fracture in his right foreleg, which needed surgery.

Dutrow said the surgeon who performed the operation and Jeff Kirk, who trained the horse on an Ocala, Fla., farm afterward, deserve all the credit for getting Cavallo Pazzo back to the races.

"He sent this horse back to me totally perfect," Dutrow said of Kirk.

Cavallo Pazzo won a maiden race and first-level allowance race at Delaware before shipping to New York in November and winning a second-level allowance by three lengths. Dutrow then tried to stretch him out in the Don Rickles Stakes, and though Cavallo Pazzo finished second to loose-on-the-lead Silver Prospector, Dutrow knew he needed to turn the horse back in distance.

"He's run so fast on a leg that has a history I thought if he'll stretch out it'll be easier on him because he won't to have run as fast," Dutrow said. "He did fine stretching out, it wasn't like he was embarrassed, but it's not what he wants to do."

Cavallo Pazzo wants to sit and stalk, and he should get that scenario on Friday even if his entrymate, Ferocious Won, scratches, as trainer Rick Dutrow said is likely.

The speedy Spooky Mulder should get tested by, among others, Run Thruthe Sun and Storm Boot Gold. Spooky Mulder is coupled with Euro Code, who is also quite capable, though he hasn't been out in a year.

Spooky Mulder, who is being offered for $75,000, won the last race run here at this condition, but got away with a soft half-mile. Pavo, who finished second to him that day, will benefit from the livelier pace expected in this race.