01/30/2002 1:00AM

Dunkelberger hits New York

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JAMAICA, N.Y. - Travis Dunkelberger, the country's third-leading rider last year with 395 winners, began riding fulltime at Aqueduct on Wednesday.

Dunkelberger, 24, has come to New York to ride on a first-call basis for the hot owner-and-trainer team of Richard Englander and Scott Lake. The rider finished sixth and fifth aboard his first two mounts on Wednesday.

Englander's large stable, which spans the country, topped the nation last year in wins and money won. Englander is among the 2001 Eclipse Award finalists. Lake, also an Eclipse Award finalist, led the country in races won.

Dunkelberger, a leading rider on the Maryland circuit and at Charles Town, said he would see how things shake out in the next month before deciding if his move will be of a permanent nature.

Dunkelberger, who rode in New York for a couple of months as an apprentice in 1995, left behind a bustling business at Laurel Park, where he rode during the day, and at Charles Town in West Virginia, where plied his trade in the evenings.

Dunkelberger said Englander, for whom he rode scores of winners at Mid-Atlantic tracks, made the New York offer at the right time.

"I was ready for a change of atmosphere," Dunkelberger said Wednesday before the start of the races. "I figure I will try out New York for the winter. I won't go home if I'm winning three a day here. I won't be going anywhere then."

While Dunkelberger is in New York he will be represented by agent Frank Sanabria, who will seek mounts for the rider when he isn't committed to Englander and Lake. Sanabria once handled the books at different times for two outstanding New York riders, Angel Cordero Jr. and Jose Santos.

Lundy keeps Lord ofthe Thunder at home

Trainer Dick Lundy has decided to keep Lord ofthe Thunder, a promising 3-year-old, home for the $75,000-added Whirlaway on Feb. 9, rather than ship the Saint Ballado colt to the Fair Grounds for the Risen Star on Feb. 17. The Whirlaway could serve as a prep for the Louisiana Derby.

*, a New York-bred, worked Wednesday at Aqueduct. Lundy was at the Fair Grounds, where he has a division of horses, and didn't witness the work, but said the reports he heard pleased him. Under Noel Wynter, Lord ofthe Thunder covered a mile over the inner track in 1:43.89, handily. Lundy's colt was timed in 38 seconds for the final three furlongs of the work.

Lundy said he wants Lord ofthe Thunder to learn how to finish strongly for his first start beyond a mile in the 1 1/16-mile Whirlaway.

"The work was exactly what I wanted," Lundy said. "Noel said there was more there, but felt it was good enough. I want him to be good and tight, so I'm really pleased with that."

Lundy said he would arrive in New York during the middle of next week to supervise Lord ofthe Thunder's final preparations for the Whirlaway.

Lundy said he's looking forward to Lord ofthe Thunder's stakes debut because it will give him a feeling for where he stands with the talented yet untested colt. Lord ofthe Thunder won his last two starts against New York-breds by a combined margin of 21 1/4 lengths.

"He's very exceptional: big and strong and just so talented," Lundy said. "When you have a good one, you're always anxious to test them. I think next weekend will be a lot of fun."

Friday's feature looks a lot like a Jan. 17 race

An allowance race for nonwinners-of-two races lifetime is the feature on Friday's card. Seven older fillies entered the mile race, which will be run around two turns on the inner track.

Four of the runners exit the same race on Jan. 17: Sabre of Silver, Candy Haze, Looking Afar, and Quichesterbahn. Sabre of Silver had the best finish in the mile race with her fast-closing third. Candy Haze finished a head back in fourth after setting the pace and tiring in the stretch.

Fabulous Find and Classy Solution face winners for the first time after recent maiden scores. Fabulous Find won her debut by 6 1/4 lengths while sprinting, covering the six furlongs in good time - 1:11.35. It took Classy Solution 16 tries, but she finally won a maiden race on Jan. 11 in the slop. Live Doppler, who finished a non-threatening third in a $12,500 claimer on Jan. 16, completes the field.

La Galerie out of Correction, in Fritchie

La Galerie, a nominee to the Correction, will run instead in the $200,000 Barbara Fritchie at Laurel Park on Feb. 16.

La Galerie was a runaway winner of a classified allowance race on Jan. 17 for trainer John Kimmel, who said the Fritchie would give the mare more time in between starts.

In the Fritchie, La Galerie will take on one of the country's leading sprinters, Xtra Heat.

* Dat You Miz Blue will carry 121 pounds as the highweight of Saturday's $75,000-added Correction Handicap. The other fillies and mares expected in the six-furlong Correction are Cantkeepfromsingin (115); Bedside Manner (114); City Fair (114); Maddie May (114); Outstanding Info (114); Look of the Lynx (113); and A. P. Andie (112). Wired to Fly (112) is also possible.

* Voodoo, pointing for the $200,000 General George at Laurel Park on Feb. 18, worked six furlongs in 1:14.62, breezing, on Wednesday at Belmont. It was the fastest of five works at the distance.

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