11/03/2005 12:00AM

Dominguez will ride in New York full time


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Ramon Dominguez will be at Aqueduct on Saturday to ride several horses, including Spotlight in the Grade 2 Long Island Handicap. Beginning at the end of December, Dominguez will ride here on a regular basis.

Dominguez, the nation's leading rider in wins in 2001 and 2003, will begin riding in New York full time Dec. 29, his agent, Steve Rushing, confirmed Thursday. Dominguez regularly rides on the Delaware circuit, with the exception of last summer, when he rode at Saratoga. Dominguez won 20 races from 196 mounts at Saratoga.

Dominguez and Rushing said they chose New York over Florida for the winter because of its higher purse structure, lesser competition, and the fact it's closer to their Maryland homes, where both have families.

"The money is better in New York than it is in Florida, and we don't have to compete against [Jerry] Bailey, [Edgar] Prado, and [John] Velazquez," Rushing said. "Also, it's closer to home and we'll be traveling a lot back and forth."

Dominguez currently ranks as the fourth leading rider in wins this year, with 280. His purse earnings of $9,929,125 through Wednesday rank him 10th in the nation.

Rushing said Dominguez would ride at Delaware through Nov. 13, closing day of that meet. Through Wednesday, Dominguez was the leading rider at Delaware, with 169 wins from 506 mounts. Dominguez will split the next month between Maryland and New York before taking a couple of weeks' vacation.

Dominguez is the regular rider for Scrappy T, who had a productive winter in New York last year and finished second in the Preakness, Indiana Derby, and Discovery. Dominguez also rides frequently for Tony Dutrow, who will have a string in New York this winter.

Ashado heads to Keeneland

It was a sad Thursday morning at trainer Todd Pletcher's barn, as champion mare Ashado boarded a van and left for Kentucky, where she will be sold at Monday's Keeneland November breeding stock sale.

"We've known for a while that's what we're doing, and from that standpoint we're obviously grateful that we had a tremendous career with her and she's leaving the barn sound, so that's some satisfaction," Pletcher said. "Part of the deal training horses is at some point they're going to go on to another home, so the best you can hope for is to do well with them when they're running and send them out healthy and sound. We'll obviously miss her a great deal. She's been a lot of fun for us."

Ashado finished third in last Saturday's Breeders' Cup Distaff and ended her career with a record of 12-4-3 from 21 starts and career earnings of $3,931,440. She is third on the all-time earnings list for females, behind Azeri ($4,079,820) and Seeking the Pearl ($4,021,716).

Ashado, owned by a partnership headed by the Starlight Stable, won 11 graded stakes in her career, including seven Grade 1's. She won the Breeders' Cup Distaff last year when she was voted 3-year-old filly champion.

Pletcher said that Adieu, who finished seventh in the Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies, arrived at Payson Park in Florida on Thursday and will be freshened for her 3-year-old campaign, which will begin in March. Pletcher said that Lion Tamer, third in the Breeders' Cup Sprint, would be pointed to the Cigar Mile, a race he won last year.

Frankel weighing turf options

Bobby Frankel was still reeling Thursday from the decision by Hollywood Park management to cancel turf racing for the entire fall meeting. Frankel, as usual, had several horses pointing to that track's fall turf festival, including Alinghi for the Grade 1 Matriarch and Three Valleys for the Grade 1 Citation.

"I feel bad for the owners, especially the guy that sent [Alinghi]. That was her main goal," Frankel said. "It was the only Grade 1 in America going a mile for fillies. They put all that expense in. There's no place to run her. What are you going to do, run her in a Grade 3 for $100,000 where she'll be [carrying] the grandstand?"

Frankel mentioned the Frank Kilroe against males at Santa Anita on March 4 as Alinghi's next realistic chance to win a Grade 1.

Three Valleys, who was kept out of the Breeders' Cup Mile due to illness, will likely be pointed to the Grade 3, $150,000 River City Handicap at Churchill Downs on Nov. 20.

Spite the Devil aimed at Stuyvesant

Spite the Devil, winner of the Empire Classic last month at Belmont, will make his next start in the Grade 3, $100,000 Stuyvesant Handicap on Nov. 19, trainer Allen Jerkens said Thursday.

Spite the Devil came off a 133-day layoff to win the Empire Classic for the second consecutive year. Five of his seven career wins have come at Belmont, his other two have come over Aqueduct's main track, including the Grade 3 Withers in 2003.

"He just likes to run every once in a while when he feels like it," said trainer Allen Jerkens. "When he won the Withers, he hadn't been running that great and he came storming down the middle of that racetrack."