06/08/2001 12:00AM

DiMauro remains patient


MIAMI - Friday's Acorn Stakes drew a strong field of 3-year-old fillies but among those not in attendance for the opening leg of New York's Triple Tiara was the Calder-based Two Item Limit, who passed the one-turn, one-mile race to await the 1 1/8-mile Mother Goose Stakes on June 30.

"We planned to pass this race all along," said Steve DiMauro Jr., who trains Two Item Limit for his principal client, Joe Graffeo. "I just didn't want to back her up to a mile after running her one and one eighth miles in her last start. This way she'll be able to stay at nine furlongs for the Mother Goose, and it will give us a little extra time between starts."

Patience has been a virtue for DiMauro with Two Item Limit. Last fall, DiMauro resisted the temptation to run her in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies and was rewarded with victories in Aqueduct's Tempted and Demoiselle stakes. Last month he made a similar decision to skip the prestigious Kentucky Oaks to await and ultimately win Pimlico's Black-Eyed Susan.

"It's a long year, and I don't want to push it," said DiMauro. "This season we'd like to make it to the Breeders' Cup. And we're not the only ones doing the same thing. Both Flute and Fleet Renee passed the Acorn to await the Mother Goose as well."

Castillo wins five

Jockey Angel Castillo won only four races during the first 11 days of the meeting but needed only four hours to more than double that total when he captured five races on Friday's program.

Castillo, who came to this country from Venezuela last September, won all the even-numbered races, starting with the second aboard Tis Your Country and continuing with I'm Not Here, Rajing Bull, Bane of the Cat, and Key Water. Both Rajing Bull and Key Water are trained by Pablo Andrade, who gave Castillo his start in his native country at the age of 12.

Tarek returns in Sunday feature

Tarek, second behind D'wildcat in Gulfstream Park's Swale Stakes last winter, faces eight other 3-year-olds in Sunday's $50,000 Naked Greed Stakes at six furlongs.

Following the Swale, Tarek shipped to Keeneland, where he finished a disappointing fifth in the Lafayette Stakes and second under allowance conditions one week later.

"I don't think he handled the track at Keeneland too well," said trainer Mohammed Moubarak.

Moubarak is hoping to use the Naked Greed as a prep for the $250,000 Carry Back Stakes on July 14.