08/23/2004 12:00AM

Evening Attire faces choice of Cups

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Trainer Pat Kelly says Evening Attire isn't well-suited to the one-turn Woodward.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Monday, the day after Evening Attire won the Grade 2 Saratoga Breeders' Cup by five lengths over Funny Cide, the winning connections were celebrating with coffee and donuts at trainer Pat Kelly's barn.

Kelly trains Evening Attire for his father, T.J., and Joseph and Mary Grant. T.J., who lives in Florida, was in town for Evening Attire's win, but didn't attend the races because he is superstitious and believes he will bring the 6-year-old gelding bad luck.

The elder Kelly joked that Evening Attire's victory over Funny Cide, a local hero in Saratoga, probably wasn't a popular one.

"I'm a hated man today," Kelly said with a chuckle.

Pat Kelly mentioned the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup on Oct. 2 at Belmont Park or the $500,000 Meadowlands Cup on Oct. 8 as possibilities for Evening Attire's next start. Evening Attire won the 2002 Jockey Club Gold Cup and was third in the race last year. Kelly ruled out running in the $500,000 Woodward around one turn at Belmont on Sept. 11.

"The Woodward is out because that is back to a mile and an eighth," Kelly said. "He's a true two-turn horse."

Barclay Tagg, Funny Cide's trainer, said he has made no plans for Funny Cide.

"He came back fine," Tagg said "I'm not sure [where he will run], we'll play it day by day. I don't want to predict that stuff because you don't know with horses. They are a day-to-day thing."

Tagg said the way the race unfolded wasn't in Funny Cide's favor.

"He had a couple of excuses - he was wide the whole way, and [Bowman's Band] made the inside and early move and that forced our hand," Tagg said. "I'd have liked to win, but I can't say he didn't run well."

Allen Jerkens, the trainer of third-place finisher Bowman's Band, said the Meadowlands Cup, a race won by Bowman's Band last year, could be on the 6-year-old's agenda. Jerkens said the Woodward is also a possibility.

Alabama trio may head separate ways

The top three finishers from Saturday's Alabama Stakes are likely not to meet again until the Breeders' Cup Distaff on Oct. 30 at Lone Star Park.

The connections of Alabama winner Society Selection, runner-up Stellar Jayne, and beaten favorite Ashado all appear to be targeting different races.

Society Selection, trained by Allen Jerkens, became the 13th filly to win the seven-furlong Test and the 10-furlong Alabama. She was the first to do it since November Snow, another Jerkens trainee. Jerkens said he would like to keep Society Selection in distance races and may point her to the Grade 1, $750,000 Beldame at Belmont on Oct. 9. That race is for 3-year-olds and up. Jerkens said he wasn't sure if he would run her before that.

"I do want to keep her long, but I don't know where that will be,'' Jerkens said.

Trainer D. Wayne Lukas said he would likely bring his filly back in the Grade 1 Gazelle at Belmont Park on Sept. 11. Lukas said he is pointing Stellar Jayne to the Breeders' Cup Distaff, but wants to keep her with 3-year-olds for her next start. Stellar Jayne won the Mother Goose before finishing second to Ashado in the Coaching Club American Oaks.

"We did better in the three-race series than Ashado,'' Lukas said. "We had a win and two seconds and she had a win, a second, and a third. Stellar Jayne didn't like that racetrack. She never really trained well in the wet for me. I would love to take those horses on over a dry track.''

Trainer Todd Pletcher also wants to keep Ashado with 3-year-olds. He mentioned the Grade 2, $250,000 Cotillion at Philadelphia Park on Oct. 2 as a possibility because of the timing.

"Four weeks before the Breeders' Cup is attractive,'' Pletcher said. "If the Beldame was Oct. 2 it would be a no-brainer, but it's not and I'm not sure why.''

Speedy New York-bred, aisle 5

First there was Funny Cide, then there was Read the Footnotes and Friends Lake. Is Galloping Grocer the next New York-bred star?

He sure looked like the real deal on Sunday, winning his debut by 11 3/4 lengths while covering five furlongs in 56.88 seconds under John Velazquez. He won in hand while narrowly missing the track record of 56.71 seconds set by Fabulous Force in 1993. He earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 95.

"We knew he was a nice horse, he worked good, trained good in the morning, but with young horses you never know,'' said trainer Dominick Schettino.

Galloping Grocer is a pure New York-bred, being by the stallion A.P Jets, who stands at Howard Kaskel's Sugar Maple Farm. Galloping Grocer is out of the stakes-placed mare Little Evie. Owner Robert D. Rosenthal and Ira Waldbaum, the co-founder and CEO of the Waldbaums grocery chain, bred Galloping Grocer. Waldbaum died in 2002. His widow, Bernice, co-owns the horse with Rosenthal.

Schettino said he and his owners have not plotted out a course of action for Galloping Grocer. They could take the conservative route by running in statebred stakes such as the Bertram F. Bongard and Sleepy Hollow, or try him in an allowance race and the Grade 1 Champagne.

"His mother ran a distance of ground,'' Schettino said. "He trains like a horse that'll run far. Angel [Cordero] breezed him twice and said he should have no problem with distance. He's got a big, long stride on him.''

Midas Eyes returns in allowance

Midas Eyes, a multiple Grade 3 winner as a 3-year-old, makes his first start in six months Wednesday in a third-level allowance race going 6 1/2 furlongs.

Midas Eyes, who won the Swale and Derby Trial at 3, has not run since finishing a close fourth in the Grade 2 Strub Stakes at Santa Anita last February. Midas Eyes had been training up to the Carter Handicap at Aqueduct in April until he developed sore ankles.

Midas Eyes has been working regularly since July 7 and blew out three furlongs in 37.47 seconds here on Monday.

"When I got him back there he started going good,'' Frankel said Monday from California. "He's fit. I don't know if he's fit to go in a stakes, but he's fit to win an allowance race.''

Midas Eyes, who will be ridden by Edgar Prado, will face stakes winners Dashboard Drummer and Quick Action as well as the Argentine-bred Mr. Nancho, who makes his North American debut for trainer Stanley Hough. Mr. Nancho won a Group 3 race on dirt and has been working well since coming to this country.

Fire Slam preps for King's Bishop

Fire Slam, who will run in Saturday's Grade 1 King's Bishop, worked a half-mile in 48 seconds on Monday at Churchill Downs.

Fire Slam enters the seven-furlong King's Bishop with wins in three consecutive stakes: the Matt Winn, Grade 2 Riva Ridge, and Don Bernhardt Memorial.

"[Monday's] work has got him to where he is primed," said David Carroll, Fire Slam's trainer. "He worked as good as he ever has and just flowed over the ground. He got his last eighth in 11 and 1."

The $250,000 King's Bishop is also expected to attract Bwana Charlie, Pomeroy, and Weigelia, the top three finishers in the Grade 2 Amsterdam here on Aug. 7.

Fugghedaboudit: Carminooch airs

Actor Tony Sirico, who plays Paulie Walnuts on the hit show "The Sopranos,'' made a successful debut as a Thoroughbred owner Monday when his 2-year-old New York-bred Carminooch won his career debut by 3 3/4 lengths. He ran 5 1/2 furlongs in a respectable 1:04.66

Sirico and his friends Michael Sullivan and Joe Scarpinito make up Three Amigos Stables. Sirico said he decided to get into Thoroughbred ownership after betting on horses for 45 years.

"This is better than getting the job on 'The Sopranos,' '' Sirico, who named the horse for his brother Carmine, said in the winner's circle. "This horse was like a little champion. With Todd Pletcher as his trainer and John Velazquez on his back, bada-bing! That's some daily double no matter how you look at it.''

In addition to his co-owners, Sirico attended the races with fellow "Sopranos" cast member Michael Imperioli, who plays Christopher Moltisanti on the show.

Sirico said he and his partners own another 2-year-old, Return of the King.

"He's a beauty,'' Sirico said. "He looks just like the second coming of Secretariat.''

* Lucifer's Stone was scratched out of Monday's Grade 2 Lake Placid Handicap due to an unsatisfactory blood count, trainer Linda Rice said. "It's coming the right direction, but we weren't satisfied it was where it needed to be,'' said Rice, who hopes to have Lucifer's Stone ready for the Grade 1 Garden City Breeders' Cup Handicap on Sept. 12.

* Monday, Richard Migliore took off his mounts following his win aboard Ahpo Here in the second race because he was experiencing muscle spasms in his back.

* Horsemen are reminded that double entries for Friday and Saturday cards will be taken on Wednesday.

- additional reporting by David Grening