11/01/2002 12:00AM

Critical Eye chases million


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Critical Eye needs $20,289 to become a millionaire. If she finishes first or second in Sunday's $100,000-added Turnback the Alarm Handicap at Aqueduct she will reach that milestone.

Critical Eye, who will be retired at the end of the year, is among eight fillies and mares entered in the Grade 3 Turnback the Alarm, a 1 1/8-mile dirt race.

Graded stakes winner Mystic Lady, one of three horses in the race trained by Mark Hennig, is the 119-pound highweight.

A New York-bred champion, Critical Eye has provided her owner and breeder, Herbert T. Schwartz, with many thrills. The 5-year-old daughter of Dynaformer, who is trained by Schwartz's son, Scott, is a multiple stakes winner, including victories in the Grade 1 Gazelle (2000) and Hempstead (2001).

This year, Critical Eye, who is stabled at Aqueduct, has not been competitive in the stakes she has run in, although she has won four allowance races, including three at Belmont Park.

Critical Eye's record isn't as good at Aqueduct where she has only won once in seven starts.

"I think she likes Belmont because of the sweeping turns. She likes to drop back and make that sweeping move," Scott Schwartz said. "But the two turns she gets at Aqueduct is definitely on her side, and the mile and an eighth definitely will help her."

Mike Luzzi rides Critical Eye, who should be flying late from post 5. The main speed is With Ability who is coupled in the wagering with Unrestrained. Hennig's other filly, Mystic Lady, is not part of the coupling. With Ability is clearly at home at Aqueduct, where she won the Grade 3 Next Move by 5 1/4 lengths in March and an allowance race earlier in her career.

Hennig said he was pleased with With Ability's performance when she finished second in the Grade 3 Arlington Matron in the mud on Sept. 2. With Ability set a sharp pace before losing by a head to Lakenheath. "She ran super, but just

wasn't able to hang on," Hennig said. Javier Castellano rides With Ability, who drew post 7.

The distance is a question for Mystic Lady, who is 0 for 2 in 1 1/8-mile dirt races. But those losses came against Grade 1 company. "Maybe against the right competition she can get the distance," Hennig said. John Velazquez rides Mystic Lady from post 4.

Unrestrained won two ungraded stakes this year. Graded stakes winner Shiny Band and Smok'n Frolic are also entered.

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