12/28/2007 12:00AM

Evil Storm finds a spot to run

EmailOZONE PARK, N.Y. - Evil Storm has run only three times in the last six months, but not for his trainer's lack of trying.

"There haven't been many races for him all year long," trainer Michael Gorham said. "I've been really stuck running him."

Gorham believes the $75,000 Gallant Fox, run at 1 5/8 miles, is a suitable spot for Evil Storm, and the 6-year-old Maryland-bred gelding looks like he could be a tough customer in the marathon stakes event at Aqueduct.

Evil Storm is one of six horses entered in the Gallant Fox, which includes the coupled entry of defending Gallant Fox winner Successful Affair and Malibu Moonshine.

Two starts back, Evil Storm won the Maryland Million Classic, run at 1 3/16 miles, receiving a perfect trip under Jeremy Rose. Earlier this month, Evil Storm finished second behind Digger in the Jennings Handicap, also at Laurel.

"He actually got into a little bit of trouble on the turn," Gorham said. "He was inside a horse; he didn't want to go through."

Gorham said that Rose took Evil Storm back and got him to the outside, "but by the time he did, it was a little too late."

Gorham will hope for a pace duel up front and may get one with Angelic Aura and Nite Light. Angelic Aura finished fourth behind Nite Light in the Coyote Lakes last out. Trainer Bruce Levine said he made a tactical error by trying to rate Angelic Aura, and that he won't make the same mistake twice.

"We're going for the lead," said Levine, who has C.C. Lopez to ride. "If they want to run with us, they can run with us."

Nite Light won the Coyote Lakes on the lead, but was able to get away with soft fractions. Nite Light is a son of Thunder Gulch out of Lite Light, who won the 1991 Kentucky Oaks. Seth Benzel, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher, says Nite Light will be close to the front, but won't be compromised in an attempt to make the lead.

Successful Affair finished a troubled second behind Nite Light in the Coyote Lakes, his first start since May 18. A move forward off that race figures to make him tough at a short price in the Gallant Fox. Stablemate Malibu Moonshine was third in the Coyote Lakes.

Nolan's Cat, third in the 2005 Belmont Stakes, completes the field.

N.Y.-bred male title on the line in Robb

Championship honors in the New York-bred male division could be on the line Sunday when Naughty New Yorker, Who What Win, and Shuffling Maddnes are scheduled to meet in the $75,000 Alex M. Robb Handicap at 1 1/16 miles. Sunday's card is the final one to be run here in 2007.

Aqueduct will be dark Monday, but is scheduled to be open Tuesday, New Year's Day, provided there is an agreement in place for the New York Racing Association to continue to run racing. NYRA's franchise is due to expire Dec. 31.

After a dark day Wednesday, Aqueduct is scheduled to reopen Thursday.

Naughty New Yorker, Who What Win, and Shuffling Maddnes have combined to win five New York-bred stakes in 2007. Naughty New Yorker beat Who What Win by 2 3/4 lengths in this race last year.

Trainer Pat Kelly said he may not run Naughty New Yorker in the Robb if the track comes up wet.

Others pointing to the race include Run Red Run, Indian Hawke, French Transition, and Stud Muffin. Possible starters include Executive Search, Lord Langfuhr, Run with the Lark, and Prince of Peace.

Oprah Winney tops Interborough

Provided there is racing Tuesday, Oprah Winney will seek to defend her Interborough Handicap title from a year ago. The $75,000 Interborough, contested at six furlongs, was one of four stakes races Oprah Winney won in 2007. She was assigned high weight of 122 pounds for this year's renewal.

Only Silmaril and Tamberino were confirmed to run against Oprah Winney as of Thursday. There are several horses on the fence, including Come Fly Away, Control System, Golden Dawn, Karakorum Starlet, and Ticket to Seattle.

* Gary Contessa went winless with eight runners Thursday, leaving him with 156 winners for the year, tied with his former boss Frank Martin for the New York Racing Association one-year record. Contessa had seven horses entered Friday and has eight on Saturday's card.