01/25/2002 12:00AM

Evening Attire's options unlimited


JAMAICA, N.Y. - By winning last Saturday's $109,200 Aqueduct Handicap, Evening Attire captured his third consecutive graded race and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 112, tops in the country so far this year dirt races longer than a mile.

You wouldn't blame Evening Attire's trainer, Pat Kelly, if immediately after the Aqueduct, he began mapping out an ambitious stakes schedule for his 4-year-old gelding. But Kelly, who took a couple days off following the win to go skiing with his family, isn't in a rush to plan Evening Attire's future. That's not surprising because Kelly, who comes from a long line of successful horsemen, has always taken a patient approach with his horses.

Kelly said for now he is considering running Evening Attire, a son of Black Tie Affair, back in the $100,000-added Stymie Handicap, a Grade 3 at 1 1/8 miles, over Aqueduct's inner track on March 9. Kelly also gave some consideration to the $75,000 John B. Campbell Handicap, a non-graded stakes at Laurel on Feb. 17, but said he is inclined to wait for the Stymie.

Kelly said if he wanted to shoot higher than the Stymie, the $500,000 New Orleans Handicap at the Fair Grounds on March 3 is another possibility.

"The Stymie looks like my choice, but I haven't run it by everyone involved yet," said Kelly, who trains Evening Attire for a partnership consisting of his father, Tommy, and Joseph and Mary Grant. "It's early yet; let's just get through the winter. He seems to do well with time off between starts."

Looking beyond the Stymie, Kelly mentioned important spring handicaps like the $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap on April 6 and the Pimlico Special in May.

"There are a lot of big races around the country for older horses," Kelly said. "His races keep getting better and that bodes well for the future. It looks like it could be an exciting year. His race was exciting the other day because he was turning back in distance and running over a speed-favoring track, so I didn't know what to think going into the race. From what I could see through the snow, he dragged Shaun [Bridgmohan] up there to the lead."

Evening Attire, who turned it around when Kelly put blinkers on him last fall, began his current stakes streak on Oct. 31 by winning the Grade 3 Discovery at odds of 65-1. Kelly's gray gelding proved the Discovery wasn't a fluke by coming back a month later and winning the Grade 3 Queens County, his last start before his 2 3/4-length win in the Grade 3 Aqueduct.

Seeyouinmydreams out of Busanda

Seeyouinmydreams, the winner of the restricted East View in her last start, will miss Sunday's $75,000-added Busanda because of a foot abscess.

The filly's trainer, Phil Serpe, said Seeyouinmydreams "popped an abscess in the corner of her foot" after a recent breeze.

He removed the shoe on the sore hoof so the area could heal and as a result, Seeinmydreams has not been able to return to the track.

"We have to sit on the bench this time," Serpe said. "It's too bad because she was doing pretty good."

No Correction for Carafe

Carafe, the winner of Thursday's eighth race, won't run back in Saturday's $75,000-added Correction.

Buzz Tenney, trainer Shug McGaughey's assistant, said Carafe was nominated to the Correction as insurance if Thursday's third-level allowance failed to fill.

Carafe, who had been running against some killer sprinters in previous starts, faced a much softer field on Thursday and was a length winner.

"She ran really well, but of course there were no Xtra Heats or Raging Fevers in the race," Tenney said. "It's easier when you're 7-5, instead of 75-1."

Tenney said he would discuss Carafe's next start with McGaughey.

Tenney worked a few horses at Belmont on Friday for upcoming stakes. D'Coach, being pointed to the $75,000-added Whirlaway on Feb. 9, worked a half-mile in 49.31 seconds, breezing, the fastest of five works at the distance. Tenney also worked Kris Pit and Search Party for the $100,000-added Rare Treat on Feb. 18. Kris Pit covered five furlongs in 1:03.25 and Search Party breezed a half-mile in 49.40 seconds.