04/14/2002 11:00PM

Hennig considers running two fillies in Bed o' Roses


JAMAICA, N.Y. - Trainer Mark Hennig has plotted the next round of stakes action for his harem of handicap fillies and mares, and it begins this weekend when Raging Fever headlines a short field expected for the Grade 3, $150,000 Bed o' Roses Breeders' Cup Handicap at Aqueduct.

Raging Fever, coming off a dominant victory in the Distaff Breeders' Cup Handicap on March 30, was assigned top weight of 121 pounds for the Bed o' Roses, run at one mile. John Velazquez will ride.

Last Saturday, breezed an easy half-mile in 51.02 seconds at Belmont Park.

"I didn't think she needed to do much, she ran pretty hard in her last race,'' Hennig said.

Hennig said he is also considering running Pleasant County in the Bed o' Roses, depending on the size of the field. Pleasant County has won 4 of 6 starts, but has yet to compete in a stakes race.

Others under consideration for the Bed O'Roses are Atelier (119), Critical Eye (115), Prized Stamp (113), Senora Claudia (113), and Belle Artiste (112).

Meanwhile, Hennig said he is pointing With Ability, winner of the Grade 3 Next Move Handicap, to the Grade 3, $300,000 Sixty Sails Handicap at Sportsman's Park on April 28.

The following week, at Churchill Downs, Hennig plans to run Mystic Lady, winner of the Banshee Breeze Stakes at Gulfstream on April 5, in the Grade 2, $300,000 Louisville Breeders' Cup Handicap. On Derby Day, he will run Gold Mover in the Grade 1, $200,000 Humana Distaff.

On May 17, Hennig will saddle Summer Colony, winner of the Grade 2 La Canada at Santa Anita in February, in the Grade 3, $150,000 Pimlico Distaff. Monday, Summer Colony worked five furlongs in 1:01.90 at Belmont.

Mott's miserable afternoon

For all the memorable afternoons trainer Bill Mott has had in his Hall of Fame career, Saturday was one day he would love to forget.

Mott sent out six runners on Saturday at Aqueduct, including top contenders in a trio of stakes. All six lost.

The tone of Mott's day was set in the fourth when Yankee Gentleman, a 1-5 favorite coming off a decisive maiden win at Gulfstream, stumbled a couple of strides out of the gate, unseating jockey Jerry Bailey. Fortunately, neither horse nor rider was hurt.

Mott looked live in all three stakes - the Bay Shore, Wood Memorial, and Carter - but could get no better than a third-place finish from Burning Roma in the Carter. Listen Here finished sixth in the Bay Shore after contesting a hot early pace. Blue Burner, finished a non-threatening fifth in the Wood, putting his Kentucky Derby status in doubt.

Throwing salt in the wound was the fact that Buddha, a horse Mott trained last year, won the Wood. And if that was not bad enough, Laissezaller, a horse Mott was to get following the Wood, suffered a fatal injury during the race.

"It's a lesson in humility,'' Mott said. "You always prepare yourself for it. I thought Listen Here could win, I thought [Yankee Gentleman] was a cinch, I thought we'd run better in the Wood; didn't have to win, but I thought we'd run better.''

Mott said he derived some self-satisfaction from the fact he picked out Buddha for Gary and Mary West at Keeneland's September Yearling Sale in 2000. Mott trained Buddha as a 2-year-old, but lost the horse when the Wests switched trainers to James Bond in December.

Owsley tough in feature

Owsley, who was talented enough to run second behind Snow Dance in the Grade 3 Lake George Handicap last summer at Saratoga, looms the one to beat in Wednesday's third-level allowance feature at one mile on turf.

Owsley is coming off a fifth-place finish at this level at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 26. Trainer Randy Schulhofer said the horse came out of that race with a lung infection and will run on Lasix for the first time on Wednesday.

Owsley will have to overcome her outside post in the nine-horse field, but will be in the able hands of jockey Edgar Prado to do just that. Other contenders in the race include Sluice, Vespers, and the Phil Johnson-trained entry of Bay Dragon and Spectaculaireontap.

Lezcano out two to three months

Lorenzo Lezcano, the leading jockey during Aqueduct's inner track meet, will be out two to three months with a broken left arm suffered in an automobile accident in Panama, his agent Jose "Chocolate'' Rivera said.

Lezcano returned to Panama in late March to visit friends and relatives while he served 20 days' worth of careless riding suspensions incurred at Aqueduct. Lezcano took his days following the inner track meet in which he won 70 races. Lezcano has lost his apprentice status and will ride as a journeyman when he returns.

While Rivera said doctors told Lezcano he would be out 10 weeks, Rivera said he told Lezcano to take as much time as he needed to heal so that he would be totally healthy when he returned. Rivera is targeting the opening of Saratoga for Lezcano's return.

Record-breaking Wood Day

Aqueduct established a non-Breeders' Cup record for total handle on Saturday as $22,230,765 was wagered at the Big A. That eclipsed the previous non-Breeders' Cup record of $19,942,672 wagered on Wood Day 1999.

The ontrack handle of $4,371,537 was the highest at Aqueduct since $4,812,998 was wagered on Wood Day 1993. The crowd of 20,103 was the largest at Aqueduct since 20,743 saw Storm Tower win the 1993 Wood.