07/02/2002 11:00PM

Hennig pair on the spot


ELMONT, N.Y. - Trainer Mark Hennig has been so dominant in stakes for fillies and mares the past two seasons that his colt and gelding division has been overshadowed.

That began to change last month when Seeking Daylight and Gygistar captured graded events at Belmont Park. Both horses will be back in Grade 2 races this weekend as Seeking Daylight gets tested for class in Saturday's $500,000 Suburban Handicap and Gygistar gets tested for stamina in Sunday's $150,000 Dwyer Sakes for 3-year-olds.

Seeking Daylight was a runaway 8 1/4-length winner of the Grade 2 Brooklyn Handicap on June 15. After missing his entire 3-year-old season due to a leg fracture, Seeking Daylight has begun to fulfill the promise he showed as a juvenile when he won both of his starts.

After dropping his first two starts this year, Seeking Daylight has won two of his last three, finishing fourth in the Westchester. In that race, jockey Edgar Prado learned that it's best to sit on Seeking Daylight and move when the horse is ready.

In the Westchester, Prado was pushing on Seeking Daylight to keep him close and the horse tired.

"Edgar said 'I was trying to make him stay close and he wasn't happy,' '' Hennig said. "He said he took him there easier when he left him alone than the other day when he was driving on him.''

Handicappers will look at Seeking Daylight's form and notice that his two wins have come over sloppy tracks. Hennig said it would be a mistake to label Seeking Daylight a mud freak.

"We don't think he needs mud,'' Hennig said. "If you watch him train over a fast track, you'd find it's more circumstance than anything.''

Though Seeking Daylight will face the likes of Grade 1 winners Macho Uno and Lido Palace, Hennig believes the 10 furlongs will be a plus.

"I think it'll do nothing but move him forward; the farther the better for him,'' Hennig said.

Distance is a question Gygistar will have to answer in Sunday's Dwyer Stakes. Gygistar has won 4 of 5 career starts, including back-to-back powerful wins in the Hallandale Beach Handicap and Riva Ridge Breeders' Cup Handicap, both at seven furlongs. The Dwyer is 1 1/16 miles.

Gygistar's off-the-pace running style and the way he finished each of his last two races suggests the 1 1/16-mile race should be within his scope.

The Dwyer should go a long way in determining Gygistar's future. If he runs well, Hennig could stretch him out in races like the Jim Dandy or Haskell. If he doesn't, Hennig could point him to the Grade 1 King's Bishop at seven furlongs.

"I think we've got to watch and see how he runs, what style he runs with, and how it goes,'' Hennig said. "We're going to have a lot more options if he can go a distance of ground. It doesn't rule out the King's Bishop, but it gives us a chance to run in some races with big pots.''

Like Seeking Daylight, Gygistar went to the sidelines after his second start. He underwent surgery on both knees, and, according to Hennig, he did not come out of it with a glowing prognosis.

During his rehabilitation, Hennig and owner-breeder Edward Evans thought it best to geld Gygistar. Gygistar is a heavy horse and by gelding him it would lower his testosterone level, and thus keep his weight down.

Among the horses Gygistar will face in the Dwyer are Yankee Gentleman, Heir D'Twine, My Man Ryan, Nothing Flat, and possibly American Style.

September Secret out of Prioress

September Secret, winner of the Grade 3 Railbird Stakes at Hollywood Park in her last start, came out of a recent workout with a problem and will not make the cross-country trip for Saturday's Grade 1 Prioress Stakes.

"She didn't pull up too good from a work,'' trainer Michael Machowsky said. "We've had nothing but trouble with her feet off and on, and she's not 100 percent so I don't want to ship her cross-country. It's a bummer, because I thought we'd fit well.''

September Secret, a daughter of Our Emblem, has won 3 of 4 starts, including a maiden win over Tempera in her career debut last year.

Her defection leaves a probable field of nine for the $200,000 Prioress. Expected to run are A New Twist, Carson Hollow, Drippingindiamonds, Proper Gamble, Short Note, Spring Meadow, Vesta, Wilzada, and possibly Willa on the Move.

- Trainer Bobby Frankel said he is leaning toward running Belmont Stakes runner-up Medaglia d'Oro in the $500,000 Jim Dandy on Aug. 4 at Saratoga, though he still left open the possibility of running in the $1 million Haskell the same day. Medaglia d'Oro has worked twice since the Belmont, most recently going five furlongs in 1:02.71 last Saturday.

- Patrol, who made it 3 for 3 on turf with his victory in Monday's Nick Shuk Memorial Handicap at Delaware Park, will make his next start in the Hall of Fame Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 5, trainer Bill Mott said.

- Del Mar Show, another Mott stakes star, worked three furlongs in 37.12 seconds Wednesday morning. He is being pointed to the $150,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap at Saratoga on July 26.