07/31/2001 12:00AM

Eventail should like distance, track

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Trainer Richard Schosberg doesn't anticipate having the same kind of Saratoga meet this summer as he experienced in 2000 when he won with 28 percent (9 for 32) of his starters. Still, he expects to win a few races over the next five weeks.

Schosberg's first win could come Thursday when he sends out Eventail in a second-level allowance race at seven furlongs that serves as the day's feature. Thursday is the first of five days at the meet that do not have a stakes race.

Eventail, a New York-bred daughter of Lear Fan, was one of the winners Schosberg saddled here last summer. She won a seven-furlong New York-bred preliminary allowance race by 9 3/4 lengths before taking the New York Oaks at Finger Lakes on Labor Day.

"She certainly likes the track," Schosberg said. "She ran a big race up here last year. My choices were a little limited. I just felt running her back at the distance and over the track at which she won was a good idea."

Eventail has lost four straight races, but she did finish second to Critical Eye in the Grade 3 Honey Bee Handicap at the Meadowlands, and is coming off a second-place finish behind Majority Whip at this level last out. That was the third straight win for Majority Whip.

In that race, run at a mile, Eventail broke from the rail and pressed a strong pace for three-quarters of a mile before giving way in the stretch. She was beaten 6 1/2 lengths.

"I'd love to see her rate just off the pace," said Schosberg, who will give Edgar Prado a leg up. "When she won here last year, she was sitting second."

There appears to be other speed in the race, with Royal Banquet and Lady Radkey in the field. Royal Banquet comes off a second-place finish to Risen Miss at this level on July 5, when she pressed a decent pace. Lady Radkey has been freshened since a last-place finish in the slop on May 23. A 5-year-old mare, she shows a pair of bullet works, including a five-furlong move in 59 seconds here on Saturday.

Also in with a chance are My Eloquent Miss and Ice Chimes. My Eloquent Miss ships up from Delaware for trainer Allen Iwinski off a second-place finish as the even-money favorite in allowance company. Regular rider Michael McCarthy makes the trip up from Delaware.

Dale Romans sends out Ice Chimes, who won a preliminary allowance race at odds of 31-1 at Churchill on July 6. Pat Day, who has had uncanny success in seven-furlong races at Saratoga, has the call from the outside post.

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