10/31/2001 12:00AM

Great Lakes Downs


MUSKEGON, Mich. - In the closest race she has been involved in here, Born to Dance was selected the Great Lakes Downs horse of the year. Secret Romeo, the champion 3-year-old colt, was a close second in the voting. The 130-day meet closed Wednesday night.

Born to Dance was born to run, and she proved it with five victories here, four of them stakes, for trainer James Jackson and owner Rosendo Parra.

Secret Romeo won 7 of 9 starts at the meet, including five stakes. His only losses were to his elders in the Muskegon Challenge and in the Sire Stakes. Gerald Bennett trains Secret Romeo for Anthony Catennaci.

Three other Bennett horses were divisional winners. Capable Capers was voted top 2-year-old male, Empress Livia top 3-year-old filly, and Flyinghannah top older female. Flyinghannah and Secret Romeo are repeat winners.

Above the Wind, winner of the Beau Genius and the Frontier handicaps, was the top older male. He is trained by Ronnie Allen. Air Supply, owned by Michael Sayre and trained by Joe Davis, won six races at the meet and was voted top claimer.

Bennett, second in the trainer standings last year, was the clear winner this year. Going into Wednesday he had 92 winners, almost twice as many as the runner-up, for earnings of $1.2 million. Terry Houghton, regular rider of Born to Dance and Secret Romeo, led the jockey standings with 238 winners through Tuesday for earnings of $2.4 million. Houghton is fourth in the nation in number of wins.