02/21/2003 12:00AM

Friday a fine day to work at Aqueduct


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - After training was disrupted because of a blizzard on Monday, and with heavy rain expected for the first part of the weekend, many horsemen took advantage of the clear and mild weather on Friday to work their horses at Belmont Park and Aqueduct.

Between the two tracks, a total of 293 horses flooded the work tab.

Among the Belmont-based horses preparing for future stakes engagements were Roar Emotion and Snake Mountain.

Roar Emotion, who won the Grade 2 Demoiselle Stakes in her last start on Nov. 30 for owner Joe Allen, covered a half-mile in 47.83 seconds. It was Roar Emotion's third work since she returned to training about six weeks ago for her 3-year-old debut, which is expected to take place in the $100,000-added Cicada, a Grade 3 at seven furlongs, on March 22.

Carlos Martin, the son of Roar Emotion's trainer, Jose Martin, said the bad weather hasn't put too much of a crimp in Roar Emotion's training.

"There's only been a total of three days in the last month and a half she has been training that we didn't go to the track," Martin said. "She's really had a smooth go.

"She wasn't even blowing after this work," he added. "She was picking it up really good and finished very strong. She should be perfect for the Cicada."

Snake Mountain, who will run next in the $75,000-added Stymie Handicap on March 8, worked a half-mile in 50.27 seconds. It was Snake Mountain's second published breeze since he won the Grade 3 Aqueduct Handicap on Jan. 18.

Snake Mountain's trainer, Jimmy Jerkens, said the harsh winter hasn't thrown the gelding's training schedule off too much.

"I've got the barn to myself, so we can jog in here when we can't get to the track," Jerkens said. "And when he gallops, he gallops real strong."

A son of A.P. Indy, Snake Mountain has won his last four starts, including three Grade 3 stakes.

Jerkens also worked last year's Count Fleet winner, Iron Deputy, who hasn't run since August when he clipped heels and stumbled during the running of the Jim Dandy at Saratoga. The 4-year-old Iron Deputy worked six furlongs in a bullet 1:15.03.

Iron Deputy needed time off to let a quarter crack fill in and completely heal. Jerkens is hopeful that Iron Deputy will be back in action within the next month.

Gravesend winner Multiple Choice, another Jerkens runner, worked five furlongs in 1:02.83 and is being pointed to the $100,000-added Toboggan Handicap on March 15.

Classic Endeavor preps for Stymie

Classic Endeavor, who is 5 for 9 over the inner track, worked Friday at Aqueduct in preparation for the 1 1/8-mile Stymie. He covered a half-mile in 48.71 seconds.

In his last start, Classic Endeavor won a classified allowance race and defeated, among others, graded stakes winners Ground Storm and Coyote Lakes. Classic Endeavor, a 5-year-old, earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 108 for the effort.

"He is as good as he ever has been," Classic Endeavor's trainer, Scott Schwartz, said after Friday's work. "He really surprised me in his last race; I was reluctant to run against that caliber of horses. He showed me a new dimension."

Classic Endeavor still has more to do to fill the shoes of Critical Eye, a Grade 1 winner trained by Schwartz and owned and bred by his father, Herbert. In her final career start, Critical Eye, a New York-bred, won the Grade 3 Ladies on Dec. 21 and went over $1 million in earnings.

Schwartz reported that Critical Eye was bred last week to two-time Breeders' Cup Classic winner Tiznow and said the mare will drop the foal in New York.

A couple of weeks ago, Schwartz welcomed Critical Eye's 2-year-old half-sister, Critical Cat, into his barn.

"She's a gorgeous filly," Schwartz said. "She's very correct, and much taller and longer than Critical Eye. She is also very smart and precocious. That intelligence is what makes a 2-year-old."