11/06/2001 12:00AM

Heavyweight Champ will winter in California


JAMAICA, N.Y. - On a cold and blustery Tuesday morning at Belmont Park, trainer John Terranova was talking about warm and sunny California, where he will send a string of eight to 10 horses, including his good 2-year-old, Heavyweight Champ, this winter.

Heavyweight Champ will leave Monday for Hollywood Park, where he will run in the $100,000 Hollywood Prevue on Nov. 17. Terranova said other horses from his stable would join Heavyweight Champ, although as of Tuesday, the trainer hadn't made a final decision as to who those horses will be.

Terranova, who split his stable between New York and Florida last year, said one of the reasons he has decided to send a contingent to California is because Hialeah's barn area will not be open this winter. Also, Terranova's wife, Tonja, is a native of California and will be able to spend time with her family and show off the Terranova's first child, Paulina Jane, born earlier this year.

"We'll stable at Hollywood," said Terranova, who also will keep 20 horses at Belmont for the winter and plans on traveling between New York and California. "I wanted to take horses to Hialeah, but with it not opening, it messed up my plans. Last year, I only had 12 or 14 horses in New York and the rest in Florida."

Heavyweight Champ will be looking for his first stakes win in the Grade 3 Hollywood Prevue. He finished third in the Grade 1 Champagne, behind Officer and Jump Start, in his last start on Oct. 6. In between winning his career debut in July and a first-level allowance race in September, Terranova's colt finished third in the Grade 2 Sanford and second in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special, both at Saratoga.

For now, Terranova said he would keep Heavyweight Champ at a mile and under and look at races, such as the San Vicente at Santa Anita this winter, after the seven-furlong Hollywood Prevue.

"With his speed, I think he will fit right into California racing," said Terranova. "Back in the spring in New York, the Gotham at a mile would be a nice long-range goal. He's very fast and I think most effective at a mile and under. Although, when we stretched him out in distance in the Champagne, I thought he ran a great race and maybe if Officer wasn't breathing down his neck, we would have been second."

Terranova said Gary Stevens would ride Heavyweight Champ, who worked a bullet five furlongs in 59.18 seconds at Belmont on Sunday, for the first time in the Hollywood Prevue.

Riskaverse may go to Hollywood

Trainer Pat Kelly is considering a trip to California with Riskaverse, who won Sunday's $86,700 Miss Grillo Stakes at Aqueduct.

Kelly said depending upon how Riskaverse, who became a stakes winner in the Miss Grillo, a grass stakes for 2-year-old fillies, came out of the race, the $200,000 Miesque Stakes at Hollywood Park on Nov. 23 is a possibility.

"We'll see how she is in a few days," Kelly said Tuesday. "I guess I'll keep her on the grass. I figured she would like the grass better than the dirt."

Riskaverse, who won her career debut on the turf in July, also captured an allowance race on the dirt.

Moon Queen topweight

The $150,000 Long Island Handicap, the final graded stakes race on the grass for fillies and mares this year in New York, will be run on Saturday.

The probables for the 1 1/2-mile Long Island, a Grade 2, are Moon Queen (119 pounds), Krisada (116), Moonlady (116), Nepenthe (116), Bowl of Emeralds (115), Queue (115), Affianced (114), Lady Dora (114), Summer Solstice (114), and Cruise Along (113). Sweetest Thing (115) and Bail Bond (112) are listed as possibles.