12/01/2004 12:00AM

Contessa believes he has the goods

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Rick Violette's promising 2-year-olds include Dr. Quirk, Dearest Mon, and Summerland.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Gary Contessa may not have the number of horses to match Richard Dutrow Jr., but he believes he has the stock to compete for leading trainer during Aqueduct's inner-track meet. Contessa has held that title for three of the last five years.

Contessa led the inner-track standings in wins in 1999-2000, 2001-02, and 2002-03. He was second in 2000-01 behind Juan Serey and fourth last year behind Dutrow.

"Our prospects are excellent," said Contessa, who won nine races during the main-track meet. "I have a lot of young horses that are going to be very, very tough here. I have a bunch of New York-bred fillies and a couple of New York-bred colts that are real good. Maggi Moss has more claiming horses than usual and she's looking to claim more. I have the right mix of claiming horses and young allowance horses; I think I'm going to have a really good meet."

In addition to having four horses on Friday's card, Contessa will participate in both stakes races this weekend, sending out Admiralty Arch in the $100,000 Queens County Handicap on Saturday and Successfully Sweet in Sunday's $75,000 East View Stakes for New York-bred fillies.

Contessa claimed Admiralty Arch from Todd Pletcher for $60,000 Oct. 15 at Belmont on behalf of Moss. Admiralty Arch won a fourth-level allowance at The Meadowlands on Nov. 9. On Tuesday, Admiralty Arch worked four furlongs in 47.11 seconds over the inner track, equaling the best time of the day from 18 works at the distance.

"Admiralty Arch is training up a storm," Contessa said. "I was fortunate to be able to work him on the inner, and he had a great work. The horse could not be better."

A large field is shaping up for the Queens County, including Classic Endeavor, Colita, Roaring Fever, Zakocity, Foufa's Warrior, Hydrogen, Kissin Saint, Country Be Gold, and Mahzouz. Evening Attire, Irish Colony, and Loving are possible.

Contessa had nominated three New York-bred juvenile fillies to the East View, but is leaning toward running only Successfully Sweet. A daughter of Successful Appeal, Successfully Sweet won a New York-bred maiden race by 8 1/2 lengths on Oct. 24 and came back Nov. 19 to win an open $60,000 claiming race. Successfully Sweet will be stretching out from six furlongs to 1 1/16 miles in the East View.

"She's just a gutsy filly - a big, long-striding filly," Contessa said. "She's the best shot I have of going two turns right now."

Violette flush with young stock

Last winter, Rick Violette took a promising New York-bred colt down to Florida and developed Read the Footnotes into the Fountain of Youth winner. This year, Violette may have a few more prospects that could develop into quality 3-year-olds.

On three consecutive days, Violette won a 2-year-old race at Aqueduct. On Friday, Dr. Quirk won a New York-bred maiden race by three-quarters of a length, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 65. On Saturday, Dearest Mon, a Maryland-bred, won a seven-furlong maiden race by three lengths, earning a Beyer of 79. On Sunday, Summerland won a New York-bred entry-level allowance race by six lengths, earning a Beyer of 85.

Dearest Mon could be the most intriguing of the three prospects. A son of Maria's Mon, Dearest Mon finished fourth in his debut on Oct. 6 before showing marked improvement on Saturday with blinkers added.

"I think he has a big future," said Violette, who trains Dearest Mon for owner-breeder Beverly Green. "I put blinkers on him because I needed him to focus more. I was disappointed in his first race."

Violette said Dearest Mon would probably make his next start at Gulfstream.

Summerland, a son of Western Expression, has now run well in all three starts - two wins and a neck loss in a stallion stakes race. Summerland is out of the dam Laken, a mare Violette trained who was 2 for 2 at 1 1/8 miles. Violette said he was not sure where Summerland would run next.

Dr. Quirk won his maiden in his fifth start and is a candidate for either the Damon Runyon Stakes for New York-breds going 1 1/16 miles on Dec. 12, or an overnight sprint stakes against open company on Dec. 18. Violette also has Qualified Opinion, a first-out winner on Nov. 13, nominated to the Damon Runyon.

Meanwhile, Violette said initial X-rays on Read the Footnotes came back negative. Violette scratched Read the Footnotes from an allowance race last Saturday, saying the colt wasn't quite right. Read the Footnotes hasn't run since finishing seventh in the Kentucky Derby.

Migliore targets New Year's Day return

Richard Migliore, sidelined since Oct. 31 with a fractured wrist and cracked rib, is targeting New Year's Day for his return, his agent, Drew Mollica, said Wednesday. In the meantime, Mollica will book mounts for Aaron Gryder for December as well as apprentice Tim Thornton.

Migliore initially was injured on Oct. 28 at Aqueduct when a horse he was on flipped in the gate. Migliore said he felt well enough to ride both Bwana Charlie and Artie Schiller two days later in the Breeders' Cup. Two days after the Breeders' Cup, Migliore's injuries were diagnosed.

Migliore had the cast removed from his left wrist on Tuesday. He will begin physical therapy this week and probably could return in two weeks. However, Aqueduct takes a nine-day break from Dec. 20-28.