11/17/2005 1:00AM

Evening Attire trying for first win of year

Evening Attire, 0 for 5 this year, runs in Saturday's Stuyvesant Handicap.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Familiar surroundings and a favorable distance could put Evening Attire back in the winner's circle Saturday in the Grade 3, $100,000 Stuyvesant Handicap at Aqueduct.

A 7-year-old gelding, Evening Attire holds a huge back-class edge over five rivals in the Stuyvesant, which is run at 1 1/8 miles. He has earned over $2.4 million in 44 career starts, including a Grade 1 triumph in Belmont's 2002 Jockey Club Gold Cup. Evening Attire loves the Big A, where he is 4 for 6, and four of his career wins have come at this distance.

"It's a better track for him because it's two turns," said trainer Pat Kelly. "He's always done better at Saratoga and Aqueduct. He's an old-style distance horse."

Evening Attire is winless in five races this year, last posting a victory in the 2004 Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap.

"He hasn't run that bad," said Kelly. "We're trying to get him in the winner's circle before the end of the year."

will be coupled with Dr. Rockett, who has two allowance wins this year.

Like Evening Attire, Spite the Devil does his best running in the stretch. He spotted the field 12 lengths last time out before rallying for a one-length win over New York-breds in the Empire Classic Handicap at Belmont on Oct. 22.

steps back into open company for trainer Allen Jerkens. A 5-year-old gelding, Spite the Devil has struggled in graded stakes this year, losing by double-digit margins in the Grade 3 Skip Away Handicap at Gulfstream Park and the Grade 2 Brooklyn Handicap at Belmont.

Jerkens will also send out Kennel Up, an impressive front-running allowance winner at Belmont in his most recent effort. The Jerkens horses will go as separate betting interests.

, another New York-bred, won the Grade 3 Iselin Breeders' Cup Handicap at Monmouth Park in late August. He was soundly defeated as the favorite in the Empire Classic last month. He also finished second in the 2004 Classic, losing to Spite the Devil by a head.

West Virginia caught a sealed track he might not have liked in this year's Empire Classic. His two worst efforts this year have come on moist tracks.

Aggadan, often the bridesmaid this year, will try for an elusive win. A 6-year-old trained by Richard Dutrow Jr., Aggadan is winless in eight tries this season with six seconds. He most recently finished second in the Maryland Million Classic at Laurel.