01/03/2008 12:00AM

Frigid weather alters training


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The thermometer struggled to reach 13 degrees Thursday morning, not necessarily the ideal conditions one would want when training a promising 3-year-old up to a big race.

Though trainer Richard Schosberg kept Giant Moon in the barn on a bitterly cold Thursday morning, he doesn't think it will have any impact on his performance in Saturday's $75,000 Count Fleet Stakes at Aqueduct. The Count Fleet will be Giant Moon's first race against open company after going 3 for 3 against New York-breds in his 2-year-old season.

Rather than send his horses to the track Thursday morning, Schosberg galloped most of them in his spacious Belmont Park barn. Giant Moon jogged for 15 minutes, Schosberg said.

"If it was a beautiful day outside we would have galloped, but we got a good sharp gallop into him [Wednesday] knowing what was coming," Schosberg said. "Let me tell you, 15 minutes of jogging around this barn they get a workout; that's two miles. I've probably won a lot more races jogging out of this barn than training out there on the racetrack."

Horsemen are mixed on their philosophies when it comes to training in the cold. While Schosberg kept his horses indoors, others sent their horses out for regular training.

Dominic Galluscio said he kept most of his horses in the barn, sending to the track only those horses who have a tendency to cramp up.

Seth Benzel, who runs trainer Todd Pletcher's New York string, sent his horses out for regular gallops though he did postpone any planned workouts.

"I don't think galloping [in cold weather] gets in your way at all," said Benzel, who will saddle Spanky Fischbein against Giant Moon in the Count Fleet. "You can keep them going as long as you don't overdo it."

Gary Contessa also sent his horses out Thursday, though like Benzel, he opted to forgo any scheduled workouts.

"The horses that gallop, gallop a little shorter distance," Contessa said. "Athletes train and they're athletes. Driving to work, you still see all the joggers out there."

The good news for all horsemen is that Thursday's frigid weather was not expected to stick around. Friday's temperatures were expected to be in the 30s, while the weekend weather forecast called for dry weather and temperatures in the low to mid 40s.

Wagering after the bell in opener

Wagering was allowed to continue on Thursday's opener here for approximately 35 seconds after the start of the race due to equipment malfunctions, New York Racing Association officials said.

According to a NYRA press release, the stewards followed standard procedure, pressing the button to end wagering just as the first race was about to begin. But the stop order did not register in the pari-mutuel system. The back-up system in the tote room also malfunctioned, resulting in a delay of approximately 35 seconds into the race. The six-furlong race was run in 1:13.33.

Favored My Apology won the race, returning $3.70. The winning exacta with 16-1 Execeleraton returned $28.20, while the winning trifecta with 5-1 Trueamericanspirit finishing third returned $107.

"We know that only $81 came in ontrack after the race went off, resulting in one winning daily double ticket that returned $11.40," Hal Handel, NYRA's executive vice president and COO said. "However, we cannot tell what kind of late wagering if any, was done off-site. The failure to end wagering at the proper time is absolutely unacceptable. We have conducted an internal investigation regarding the two malfunctions and will improve the process in both the stewards' stand and the tote room."

Trainer Arroyo goes 3 for 4

Enrique Arroyo, who has been training on his own for almost two years, enjoyed a career-best afternoon Thursday winning with 3 of the 4 horses he saddled on the card.

Arroyo, 41, swept the early double with My Apology ($3.70) and Sarah's Smiler ($5.90). After Simply Gifted was eased in the sixth, Arroyo came back in the seventh with In Command ($21.60), who rallied from far back under apprentice Carol Cedeno to get the victory at 9-1.

"I'm very happy, I'm very excited," Arroyo said after the seventh.

Arroyo said he was high on Simply Gifted as well and suspects that the horse may have bled.

"I'm going to scope that horse," Arroyo said. "That horse worked very good, too."

Arroyo, the cousin of jockey Norberto Arroyo Jr., worked as an assistant to trainers Greg Martin and Pancho Martin before going out on his own in 2006. Arroyo, who said he has 15 horses in his care, has gone 5 for 22 since the inner track opened Nov. 28.

Pink Viper upsets Brushing Up

Pink Viper upset last year's Count Fleet at odds of 8-1, and he snapped a 0-for-12 skid since then by upsetting Thursday's $65,750 Brushing Up Stakes by a length. Pink Viper was sent off at 10-1 in a scratch-reduced field of four.

Under Alan Garcia, Pink Viper stalked the pacesetting Shopton Lane through fractions of 24.20 seconds and 48.20. Pink Viper poked his nose in front midway around the far turn, then was passed by the 4-5 favorite Stunt Man at the eighth pole.

Pink Viper battled back on the rail and edged away from Stunt Man to win by a length. Stunt Man held second by 6 1/4 lengths over Shopton Lane. Spanish Harlem was last. Wisp and Saint Barr scratched.