10/30/2001 1:00AM

A congenial mile for Search Party

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JAMAICA, N.Y. - Search Party was nominated to Saturday's $100,000-added Turnback the Alarm Handicap at Aqueduct, but apparently trainer Shug McGaughey has found a spot more to his liking on Thursday.

Search Party is the likely favorite among the seven fillies and mares entered in Aqueduct's eighth race, a $56,000 allowance race at one mile on the main track.

McGaughey might have found the distance of Thursday's race more desirable than the 1 1/8-mile Turnback the Alarm, which he won last year with Atelier. Search Party, a 4-year-old filly, is 5 for 12 at one mile, compared to 0 for 2 at 1 1/8 miles. Search Party's best races have come at Aqueduct, where she has a 3-for-4 record.

Search Party's last start came on Sept. 2 in the 1 1/16-mile Personal Ensign at Monmouth Park, where she finished third. She worked sharply for this race at Belmont Park on Sunday when she turned in a half-mile move in 47.90 seconds, handily, the second fastest of 24 works at the distance.

Edgar Prado, coming off a strong Belmont fall meet, where he rode 34 winners, rides Search Party, who drew post 3.

Among Search Party's rivals are the Richard Dutrow Jr.-trained Forever Cindy, who makes her first start since April, and Majority Whip, who won a third-level allowance in her last start.

Forever Cindy, to be ridden by Norberto Arroyo Jr, finished sixth as the favorite at Aqueduct on April 29 in a $50,000 claimer in her last start. During the winter at Aqueduct, she was in strong form and won a pair of allowance races, one over the inner track and one on the main.

Forever Cindy, who worked a bullet five furlongs in 1:01.69, handily, at Aqueduct last Friday, drew the rail.

Majority Whip, a Gulch filly, is pretty handy at a mile. She was up in time to win a mile race at Belmont on Oct. 19, despite getting off to an awkward start. John Velazquez is back aboard from post 6.

Trainer Juan Serey, who usually can be counted on to heat up at the Aqueduct meet, has entered Betty's Hat, a $50,000 claim from earlier this year. Since she has been in Serey's barn, Betty's Hat has won three races, including an easy score in a $50,000 claimer at Belmont in September.

Completing the field are Delray Dew, perhaps the lone speed in what appears to a paceless race, Debutante's Dream, and Powerful Package.

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