02/06/2004 12:00AM

Finally, Kazoo finds right spot


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - It seems as though trainer Mike Hushion's patience has paid off.

After he resisted the temptation to run Kazoo in the Paumonok Handicap and then entered him in a race that didn't fill, Hushion finally found a spot for Kazoo in a $52,000 optional claiming race Sunday at Aqueduct. The best part is Kazoo looks like the main speed in the six-horse field.

The six-furlong dash is one of five allowance races on a 10-race card that includes three races brought back from Friday's card, which was canceled due to bad weather.

Since being claimed for $100,000 in August, Kazoo, a 6-year-old, has a win, two seconds, and a fourth in four starts. On Dec. 4, he won a similarly conditioned race by 1 3/4 lengths over Super Fuse, who could be the main threat again Sunday. In another optional claimer Jan. 7, Kazoo dueled with the winner, Spooky Mulder, before settling for second. He did finish one length ahead of Peeping Tom, who came back to win the Paumonok on Jan. 24.

Hushion wisely kept Kazoo out of the Paumonok because there were so many other speed types in the race. Hushion also wanted to race Kazoo in a starter allowance race Jan. 23, but that race didn't fill.

Kazoo's regular rider, Richard Migliore, is in Florida on Sunday, but Hushion has found a suitable replacement in apprentice Pablo Fragoso. Kazoo gets the meet's leading rider and a five-pound weight allowance.

Kazoo will break from the outside and should be able to control the pace. Fragoso will also be in good position, however, in case someone else tries to outfoot Kazoo.

Super Fuse has not won in 13 months, but he has finished second or third in five of his last six sprint tries. For Love and Honor is another late-runner who has finished within striking distance of Kazoo in the past. The Deputy Is Home and On the Game make their New York debuts for new connections.

Savedbythelight headed to turf

Savedbythelight, who won the Grade 3 Ladies Handicap here in December, will make her next start on the turf at Gulfstream, trainer Rick Violette said. She is also nominated to Aqueduct's Rare Treat Handicap on Feb. 16.

Savedbythelight is in training at the Palm Meadows training center in Boynton Beach, Fla., and is being pointed to the $100,000 The Very One Handicap at 1 3/8 miles Feb. 28.

Savedbythelight, a daughter of Saint Ballado owned by Earle Mack, is 1 for 3 on turf in her career. She last raced on turf in August in the Grade 2 Lake Placid Handicap, where she finished sixth, 5 3/4 lengths behind Sand Springs. The Lake Placid produced next-out Grade 1 winners Indy Five Hundred and Film Maker.

"I was a little disappointed in her turf race at Saratoga; it was a little tricky that day, a little soft," Violette said. "It's still possible she could be bred this year, but if a mile and three-eighths on turf really makes a big difference, it could open a whole new door of possibilities and [Mack] may be more likely to keep her in training."

While Violette gets his top 3-year-old, Read the Footnotes, ready for next Saturday's Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream, two of his other 3-year-olds are trying to overcome problems.

Bond Arbitrage, who was second in last September's Bertram Bongard Stakes, breezed four furlongs in 51.39 seconds at Aqueduct on Thursday. He has not run since Nov. 28.

"He popped a very ugly quarter crack, and it took forever to dry it out and patch it where he was comfortable," Violette said.

Violette plans to try Bond Arbitrage on the turf this year. Bond Arbitrage is out of the dam Deputy Dear, who is a half-sister to the turf stakes winner Currency Arbitrage.

Violette said that Distressed Debt, a good-looking allowance winner Dec. 17 before finishing seventh and last in the Count Fleet, will undergo a heart evaluation, similar to the one trainer Richard Mandella had performed on Breeders' Cup Classic winner Pleasantly Perfect a few years ago. Pleasantly Perfect was then found to have endomyocarditis, an inflammation of the sac of the heart.

"I can't believe he could go from winning so impressively to getting beat 30 lengths," Violette said. "It's either his wind or there's something functionally wrong with his heart."

Baldomera heads Dearly Precious

There may not be any household names on the list, but next Saturday's $75,000 Dearly Precious Stakes for 3-year-old fillies is shaping up to be a pretty salty race.

Seven of the eight horses being considered for the race are coming off a win, and five of the seven have multiple-race win streaks.

Baldomera, who won the Ruthless here Jan. 4, will return for the Dearly Precious, trainer Guadalupe Preciado said. Baldomera overcame a slow pace when she rallied from last to win by nearly two lengths under Anthony Black. She has won three of her last four starts.

Others pointing to the race include Among My Souvenirs, Bohemian Lady, Pro Occident, and To the Alamo. Rodeo Licious, who hasn't run since winning the Fashion Stakes last June, is under consideration, as are Georgetown Gal and Special Tactics.