10/28/2004 12:00AM

Evening Attire gives turf another try


The past two years, ran in the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic, finishing fourth in 2002 and seventh last year. This year, he stays in New York for Saturday's $150,000 Knickerbocker Handicap at Aqueduct.

The Grade 2 Knickerbocker and the Grade 2 First Flight Handicap are part of a five-race live card that begins at 11 a.m. Eastern, with simulcasts of the Breeders' Cup races from Lone Star Park to follow.

The 1 1/8-mile Knickerbocker will be Evening Attire's second start on the turf in 37 career races. In 2001, at 3, he ran sixth in a second-level allowance on the grass at Belmont.

Pat Kelly, Evening Attire's trainer, would be delighted if the Knickerbocker was moved to the main track because of rain, but he entered him to run on the grass.

"We just wanted to try the grass," said Kelly from Texas, where he will run Riskaverse in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf.

In his last start, Evening Attire finished fourth in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup on Oct. 2. Kelly's likely next target on the dirt for Evening Attire is the $500,000 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs on Nov. 26.

Among Evening Attire's nine rivals is Grade 1 winner Denon, who is making his second start off a lengthy layoff and is the 119-pound highweight. Trained by Bobby Frankel, Denon is the most accomplished turf runner in the field with $1.7 million in earnings.

Dr. Kashnikow ended a long losing streak in the Grade 3 Cliff Hanger at The Meadowlands on Oct. 15.

L'Oiseau d'Argent, who looks like the lone speed, has been most effective in mile races, but his trainer, Kiaran McLaughlin, believes the extra furlong in the Knickerbocker isn't a negative.

"He can do it, if he can settle a bit," McLaughlin said.