02/07/2004 12:00AM

Gotham goal for Wynn Dot Comma


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Trainer Marty Wolfson is look for another big effort from his once-beaten Wynn Dot Comma in Saturday's Grade 3 Hutcheson Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

Wynn Dot Comma has won 5 of 6 starts, losing only to the still unbeaten Sir Oscar in the seven-furlong Jack Price Juvenile at Calder. The Hutcheson will also be decided at seven-eighths of a mile but the distance is of little concern to Wolfson.

"He got caught up in an early speed duel in the Jack Price and he had a terrible foot abscess that popped after the race," said Wolfson. "That had to be bothering him that day, so all in all he really ran a big race."

Wynn Dot Comma missed several weeks of training following the Jack Price due to his foot injury but was still good enough to rally from next to last to capture the Grade 3 Spectacular Bid under jockey Joe Bravo in his 3-year-old debut here Jan. 10.

"He's done well since the Spectacular Bid and I like the fact that he showed he was very ratable that day," said Wolfson. "Our ultimate goal at the moment is the Gotham. I think a one-turn mile will suit him perfectly."

The Grade 3, $200,000 Gotham will be run March 20 at Aqueduct.

A field of eight to 10 is shaping up for the Hutcheson, which may also include Blushing Indian, Harbour Gate, Bourbon N Blues, Bachelor Blues, Heckle, and Saratoga County.

Wolfson remains undecided on whether he will run Zakocity the same afternoon in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth or await a softer spot. Zakocity won a first-level allowance race on Jan. 3 and lost a head decision in the Dave Feldman Stakes 15 days later.

"He's really improving and is certainly seasoned enough to run in the Fountain of Youth," said Wolfson. "I'm just thinking the race could come up a little too tough."

Wolfson said one option might be to send Zakocity to Tampa Bay Downs for the Sam Davis, a 1 1/16-mile race worth $100,000 on Feb. 21.

Wolfson also said he is considering the New Orleans Handicap for his multiple graded stakes winner Aeneas, who finished a disappointing third under allowance conditions earlier this meet.

"His last race was on a wet track and he doesn't like the slop," said Wolfson. "We'll either send him to the Fair Grounds for the New Orleans Handicap or wait for the Skip Away here later in the meet."

The Grade 2 New Orleans Handicap, a 1 1/8-mile race worth $500,000, is Feb. 29. The Grade 3, $100,000 Skip Away at 1 1/16 miles, will be run March 13.

Last year's glamor horses top card

A year ago, a card with Aristocat, Christine's Outlaw, Indy Dancer, and Offlee Wild would have been one of the highlights of the season here. All four were considered leading prospects for the spring classics. All, however, fell by the wayside, and now at age 4, they are seeking to resurrect their once-promising careers.

They can take that first step on Monday, in a pair of second-level allowance races. Aristocat and Christine's Outlaw are in the eighth race, at seven furlongs, and Indy Dancer and Offlee Wild are in the fifth, at 1 1/16 miles.

Aristocat is making his first start since last year's Arkansas Derby, in which he finished worse than second for the only time in his five-race career. He finished second in last year's Tampa Bay Derby, and was a winner of a two-turn allowance race here last year. He has been training steadily at Palm Meadows for trainer Todd Pletcher.

Christine's Outlaw is winless in seven starts since an allowance victory at Gulfstream last year. He was third in last year's Arkansas Derby, and was a narrow loser of the Leonard Richards at Delaware. He is making his first start in four months.

Aristocat and Christine's Outlaw must get past Senor Amigo, who is back in a sensible spot after being thrown in against Puzzlement and Bowman's Band in last month's Hal's Hope Handicap in only his third career start.

Offlee Wild was the most accomplished of this quartet one year ago, when he won the Holy Bull Stakes. He is winless in six starts since then, however. He is making his first start in nearly four months.

Indy Dancer started his career stylishly, winning first time out and then against first-level allowance runners, but he has lost five straight since then. He broke poorly when fourth in his comeback race on Jan. 14 for Pletcher.

The field for the sixth race, a second-level allowance for 3-year-old fillies going about 1 1/8 miles on turf, features Dr. Kathy, a close third in last fall's Demoiselle Stakes at Aqueduct, and Vous, the winner of Calder's Hollywood Wildcat Stakes.

Teator returns

Former Eclipse Award-winning jockey Phil Teator returns to action Monday after missing several months due to a fractured ankle suffered at Calder.

Teator was voted the nation's top apprentice rider in 1997. He switched his tack to south Florida on a permanent basis last season and was doing well at Calder at the time of his accident.

* Madcap Escapade, a dazzling 10-length winner of her debut on Jan. 4, breezed five furlongs in 1:01 on Saturday morning at Gulfstream. Trainer Frank Brothers is considering running Madcap Escapade in Saturday's $100,000 Old Hat Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at six furlongs.

- additional reporting by Jay Privman