06/01/2007 12:00AM

Contessa has shot at sweep


ELMONT, N.Y. - Bustin Stones and Mighty Eros were the impressive winners of the two New York Stallion Stakes in April at Aqueduct. But with Bustin Stones pointing to the Grade 2 Woody Stephens and Mighty Eros still recovering from an illness, Sunday's next round of the stallion stakes at Belmont Park looks to be wide open.

Trainer Gary Contessa has a chance to sweep both races when he sends out the coupled entry of Stunt Man and Solid Strike in the Spectacular Bid for 3-year-old males and City in the Clouds in the Cupecoy's Joy for 3-year-old fillies. Both races, restricted to progeny of New York-based stallions, are worth $75,000 and will be run at one mile.

Stunt Man didn't face Bustin Stones at Aqueduct, but ran fourth to him in the Screenland Stakes for New York-breds on May 9 here. Racing on the outside early in the race, Stunt Man was guided to the inside by Alan Garcia and tried to make a run at the Bruce Levine-trained Bustin Stones, who galloped away from the field for his third victory in as many starts.

"If you watch the replay, he made a great move, but there was no beating Levine's horse,'' Contessa said.

Prior to that race, Stunt Man was a 4 1/4-length winner against statebred allowance foes going seven


Solid Strike finished second in the Sleepy Hollow for statebreds at one-mile over this track last fall, but has been plagued by gate troubles in two starts this year. Contessa said former New York Racing Association starter Bob Duncan has been working with the horse at the gate in Saratoga.

"If that horse ever breaks, hopefully he'll regain his form,'' Contessa said. "If not, Stunt Man is training good, acting good.''

Dr. V's Magic made all three of his starts over Aqueduct's inner track, but he's a full brother to Belmont horse-for-course Organizer. Smash'em Sammy was second to Bustin Stones in the Stallion Stakes at Aqueduct.

In the Cupecoy's Joy, City in the Clouds goes turf to dirt for Contessa. Two starts back, City in the Clouds finished second behind Mighty Eros, who has won her first two starts by almost 18 lengths.

"She would love to be on the lead but she doesn't have to be,'' Contessa said. "She's a tough filly on the lead, but there's no set formula for her.''

Regal Playtime hasn't run since March due to a foot issue that is now behind her. She has been training very well for this, according to trainer Pat Reynolds. Laurentide Ice and Smokin Sarah are also threats.