09/24/2003 11:00PM

Gygistar needs change of luck in Vosburgh


ELMONT, N.Y. - Trainer Mark Hennig has endured a frustrating 12 months with Gygistar, but he hopes the bad times are behind the gelding when he runs him in Saturday's $500,000 Vosburgh at Belmont Park.

The Vosburgh, a prep for the $1 million Breeders' Cup Sprint at Santa Anita on Oct. 25, drew 11 runners. Joining Gygistar, the likely favorite, are graded-stakes winners Peeping Tom, My Cousin Matt, Posse, and Proud Citizen.

Older horses carry 126 pounds. The 3-year-olds in the field, Ghostzapper and Posse, carry 123 pounds.

The Vosburgh's distance was shortened this year from 7 to 6 1/2 furlongs to make it a more tempting prep for horsemen with designs on the 6-furlong Breeders' Cup Sprint.

Last year, after winning the King's Bishop at Saratoga, Gygistar was being pointed to the Sprint, but he injured his foot in his stall three weeks before the race and didn't run. Gygistar returned to the races in February, but after one start a knee chip that required surgery was diagnosed.

"It has just been a disappointment," Hennig said. "He's spent a lot of time in the stall."

Gygistar returned in July at Saratoga and easily won an allowance race before finishing third in the Grade 1 Forego on Aug. 31. He had a wide trip in the Forego and was beaten six lengths by the winner, Aldebaran.

"I wished he had a better trip," Hennig said. "The field went off the fence, and he got carried out."

John Velazquez rides Gygistar, who drew the rail and figures to be among the early leaders in what looks on paper to be a paceless race.

Ghostzapper, who makes his sixth career start in the Vosburgh, ran a super race in his stakes debut in this year's King's Bishop, on Aug. 23. He came from well off the pace with a wide move to finish third, beaten a half-length by the winner, Valid Video.

"He made up five lengths from the eighth pole to the wire," said Ghostzapper's trainer, Bobby Frankel.

In the Vosburgh, Frankel wished for an outside post because the colt doesn't like dirt in his face, but Ghostzapper drew post 3. Javier Castellano rides.

Peeping Tom is the leading money-earner in the field, with $1,218,317. A Grade 1 winner, Peeping Tom hasn't run since finishing second to Aldebaran in the Grade 2 Tom Fool on July 4. He had a summer vacation at Mill Creek Farm in Stillwater, N.Y., and came back to trainer Pat Reynolds's barn toward the end of the Saratoga meet.

Reynolds would have preferred to run Peeping Tom, who has worked three times since his vacation, in an easier spot in his return.

"I wouldn't have any qualms about running him if he hadn't been out of training," Reynolds said. "He has a great heart and might be able to bust his way open anyway."

Shaun Bridgmohan rides Peeping Tom from post 5.

Posse is looking to rebound from back-to-back losses in the Amsterdam and King's Bishop. He won the Riva Ridge in the slop here in June.

My Cousin Matt injured a stifle when fifth in the Forego, according to his trainer, Scott Lake. Ajedrez takes a step up after winning his last three starts in allowance races. Voodoo was third in last year's Vosburgh.