01/08/2008 12:00AM

Evening Attire works bullet half-mile


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Evening Attire's final start at age 9 was a determined win in the Queens County Handicap on Dec. 8, the 14th victory of a career that is still going strong.

Evening Attire's first workout as a 10-year-old came on Tuesday, and to the continuing amazement of trainer Pat Kelly the near-white gelding rattled off a bullet half-mile in 47.80 seconds, the fastest of 36 works at the distance on the training track at Belmont Park that day.

"He was only supposed to go a nice 49 because he's not running for a couple of weeks," said Kelly, who is targeting the 1o1/16-mile Aqueduct Handicap a week from Saturday as Evening Attire's 64th career start.

"He's amazing, he just keeps plugging along," Kelly said, adding that he probably will have to find a new rider for Evening Attire next out because Edgar Prado is currently riding in Florida.

"I'll probably have to switch pilots," Kelly said. I don't think Prado's coming back for that race."

Also training sharply these days for Kelly is Homerette, who went four furlongs in 47.80 seconds on Monday in preparation for Saturday's Affectionately Handicap. Her previous work was a best-of-98 bullet in 47.20 on Dec. 19. Homerette was a fast-closing second, beaten a neck, in last year's Affectionately, but has shown only brief glimpses of that form since.

"She's done pretty well lately; maybe she's a cold weather girl," said Kelly of the New York-bred mare who has won stakes on turf and dirt. "She's about ready to be retired. She's only got another start or two left on her dance card."

Victory Pool, also slated for retirement soon, will be the 117-pound highweight in the Affectionately. Other possible starters in the 1 1/16-mile route include Wow Me Free and Cryptoquip, the one-two finishers in the recent Ladies Handicap, and Dinner Break and Runway Rosie, noses apart when first and second in the Flat Fleet Feet Stakes last month.

Sunday's feature is the $75,000 Busanda Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at a mile and 70 yards. Among the 16 nominees is Wonderwho'sbest, a last-out allowance winner on turf for trainer Bruce Levine who breezed five furlongs in 1:02.60 at Belmont on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, eight older sprinters entered Thursday's feature, a $52,000 optional claimer carded as race 8. All but Santa's Gold and Lemon Shore are entered to be claimed for $35,000, including My Cousin Matt, who can surpass $1 million in earnings with a win or runner-up finish.

Other contenders include the freshly claimed Royal Moment and Maddy's Lion, who finished heads apart last out in a straight $35,000 claimer, and the Richard Dutrow Jr.-trained entry of Royal Attire and Holly Time.