12/01/2006 12:00AM

Imbriale returns to his labor of love


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Proving that even retirement doesn't last forever, John Imbriale was back in the Aqueduct announcer's booth on Friday. Imbriale was scheduled to fill in for Tom Durkin through Sunday, but will return as the winter announcer on Jan. 4 and call Aqueduct's races through March 31.

Following a 25-career, Imbriale retired from the New York Racing Association in late February 2005, though he did fill in for Durkin a day or two last June at Belmont. Imbriale, 51, said he was contemplating seeking a return to the racetrack though he had considered it a longshot he would be able to get back into the announcer's booth.

The opportunity to call races at Aqueduct again came about when Larry Collmus, who called here last winter, was hired as Gulfstream Park's new announcer.

Imbriale, who had taken a part-time job at North Shore Country Club, said he received a call from NYRA senior vice president Bill Nader asking him if he was interested in calling races again.

"I basically said to him 'What part of your anatomy do you want me to kiss?,' '' Imbriale said before Friday's first race. "Honestly, it was like something dropped out of the skies at the right time. I know that it's obviously, most likely, a one shot deal for those three months, but I'll take it for what it is. I've learned to take things one day at a time.''

Papi Chullo targets Sunshine Millions

Papi Chullo, winner of a second-level allowance race here last Sunday, will be pointed to the Sunshine Millions Classic, to be run at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 27, owner Greg Norman said.

Norman said Papi Chullo, who is based at Belmont Park, would likely make one more start - possibly at Aqueduct - before shipping to Florida. Papi Chullo is nominated to next Saturday's Queens County Handicap, but Norman said that race may come back too quickly.

Papi Chullo, a Florida-bred son of Comeonmom, showed a strong closing kick winning a 1 1/8-mile allowance race by 1 1/2 lengths over the New York-bred stakes winner Indian Hawke. Papi Chullo ran the distance in 1:49.38 and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 95.

"Absolutely phenomenal,'' Norman said. "It was his best two-turn race to date. He galloped along five or six lengths off the lead and he finished like a freight train and he had a lot of energy left at the end.''

Peter Menghini was listed as the trainer of Papi Chullo and is overseeing the horse's training at Belmont. However, Norman said has hired Louise Teator to become his trainer beginning next year. Teator is the wife of Brian Lynch, a trainer for owner Frank Stronach. Teator used to work as an exercise rider for Bill Mott in the mid-1990's.

Norman said his horses would be based at Palm Beach Downs, a training center in south Florida. One of his horses is Tiger's Fist Pump, an unstarted son of Concerto, who has been working steadily in Southern California.

"He's shown me that he may be equal to or better than The Daddy,'' said Norman, referring to the New York-bred who won the 2005 Super Derby.

Attila's Storm to get a break

Trainer Richard Schosberg said Attila's Storm "bled a little bit and had a little bit of mucus'' when finishing seventh in the Grade 1 De Francis Dash at Laurel Park on Nov. 25.

Schosberg said Attila's Storm would most likely get a couple of months off before returning in the spring.

"We'll try to find a spot where he can get his confidence back up a little bit,'' Schosberg said. "He just didn't get a chance to run his race. He checked pretty hard down the lane when the winner went by him. All those circumstances kept him from running his race.''

Schosberg said Attila's Storm's ultimate goal for next year will be a third straight appearance in the Breeders' Cup Sprint at Monmouth Park on Oct. 27.

Velazquez to serve days

John Velazquez had scheduled a trip to Puerto Rico early last month to coincide with what he thought would be the time he would be serving a three-day suspension from a riding incident at Del Mar in July.

But the Southern California stewards had not signed off on Velazquez's drop of an appeal and thus Velazquez will now serve these days next Wednesday through Friday. Velazquez was suspended for a riding infraction in the Eddie Read Handicap where his mount, Fourty Niners Son, was disqualified from fourth to fifth.

Velazquez, who won two races here on Friday, will return next Saturday to ride Magna Graduate in the Queens County and will ride at the Big A through Dec. 17.