09/10/2007 12:00AM

Hands-on, patient trainer hoping to build on successful Saratoga meeting


ELMONT, N.Y. - Richard Schosberg currently oversees a string of 25 runners at Belmont Park and is fresh off a strong Saratoga meet where he won with 6 of 27 runners and finished on the board with an additional 13 starters for purse earnings of more than $360,000. For those keeping score, his six wins equaled the win total from Patrick Biancone, Bobby Frankel, and Nick Zito - all high-powered outfits that started more runners.

"I think we just got lucky with a bunch of horses that were coming into good races," said Schosberg, 45, who saddled his first winner in 1988 and has since been a mainstay on the NYRA circuit. "The condition book seemed to fall into place for us and it was one of those rare occurrences where everything just clicked for us.

"At the Belmont meet before Saratoga, we had some bad luck but we just kept working hard and since then things have worked out. We all know how cyclical this game can be and I can't put any rhyme or reason to our recent good run."

Okay, he's modest, we get it.

Schosberg is a respected trainer and well known for his hands-on approach. He's earned degrees in business and animal science from Cornell University and got his racetrack master's degree in 1995 when he guided Maria's Mon to a juvenile championship. His biggest year came in 2000, when he won 63 races, clicked at 21 percent, and brought home more than $3.2 million in purses.

Schosberg trains for many breeders and he shows great patience with young horses who merit attention at the betting windows.

At Saratoga, four of his wins came with New York-bred maidens. Hammock ($5) returned from an April layoff, Light Tactic ($8.90) won impressively at first asking, Pennylove ($17.40) had been absent since February, and Speak Proudly ($30.60) won her debut.

"Light Tactic broke her maiden with style," Schosberg said of the sophomore filly who won by 3 3/4 lengths and registered a 90 Beyer Speed Figure. "We thought about trying her in a stakes at Belmont, but I just didn't think she was mentally prepared enough just yet. We went through a lot with her at Saratoga in getting her to learn in the paddock and at the gate. For now, I'm thinking we'll try allowance company and then maybe take a look at the Iroquois (Oct. 20). I think she's as talented as any, but she needs the experience."

Schosberg's "big horse" is Attila's Storm, a gritty 5-year-old and multiple stakes winner who most recently finished third in the Grade 1 Forego Stakes at Saratoga.

"We are going to try and make our third Breeders' Cup Sprint with him in as many years," he said. "That last race was tough on him as he battled on the pace and Baffert's horse [Midnight Lute] just annihilated the field. I was proud of my horse though as he stayed on and seven furlongs isn't really his best game. We'll turn back in distance for the Sprint and get back to a track that he has won over."

Prior stable stars for Schosberg include As Indicated, Mossflower, and Affirmed Success.

"I'm most proud of Affirmed Success," he said of the multiple Grade 1 winner. "He made his first start at 3 and won a graded stakes for us at 9. He was a solid sprinter and was dynamite at six or seven furlongs. He won three Grade 1s and ran his heart out every time. For him to accomplish what he did, primarily as a sprinter, was awesome.

"Maria's Mon was a champion in as thick a group of nice 2-year-olds in quite a while. I'm privileged to be able to go to a list of nice ones I've had when trying to think of highlights. Right now, there are several in the barn where I trained the sire and dam and for a relatively small outfit, that's exciting and it also makes you feel a little long in the tooth at the same time."