08/19/2002 11:00PM

Everyone wants in to Longacres


AUBURN, Wash. - It appears certain that Sunday's 67th running of the Grade 3, $250,000 Longacres Mile will overfill, and that horses intended for the race will be left on the sidelines for the first time in memory.

In the inaugural running of the Mile in 1935, Coldwater topped a field of 16, while 14 runners contested the race as recently as 1990, when Snipledo won. These days, however, the field is limited to 12, and there are at least 17 whose connections want them to run. Preference is determined by weight.

The list is topped by the 123-pound starting highweight, Redattore, who is scheduled to arrive at Emerald Downs on Thursday afternoon along with fellow Southern Californian Mysterious Cat, who is also assured a spot in the gate with 117 pounds. Others assured a berth are Moonlight Meeting (119 pounds), Lord Nelson (118), Futural (116), Komax (116), Radar Contact (116), Jumron Won (115), San Nicolas (115), and Colterkind (114). That makes 10.

Road Afleet, who is also weighted at 114 pounds, could have the 11th slot, but trainer Dan Markle would rather save him for the Washington Championship and run Winitall, who is one of six Mile hopefuls weighted at 113 pounds. The others are Jade Green, Prodigious, Sabertooth, Stoney, and Sullivanitis.

The strong interest in this year's Mile is surprising because of the strong credentials of the starting highweight. Redattore, a 7-year-old Brazilian, won the Grade 1 Eddie Read Handicap on the grass and the Grade 2 San Antonio Handicap on the dirt last season, and he is coming off a good third to Sarafan and Beat Hollow in the Eddie Read.