01/24/2008 12:00AM

Kelly's aging stars biding their time


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - There are not a lot of options at Aqueduct in the coming weeks for veteran stars Evening Attire and Naughty New Yorker. That suits the trainer Pat Kelly just fine as both horses get a mid-winter breather.

Naughty New Yorker has not run since winning the Alex M. Robb Handicap for New York-breds on Dec. 30. Naughty New Yorker did work five furlongs in 1:02.07 Wednesday at Belmont Park.

There is an overnight stakes for New York-breds on Sunday, but Kelly opted to pass.

"We're lying low a little bit," Kelly said. "We're going to try and find a graded stakes for him somewhere. We're looking around at some bigger things."

One possible target is the Grade 2, $200,000 Excelsior Handicap here on April 5.

"He's been running hard for over a year," Kelly said. "We programmed in a little bit of a freshening. We're giving him kind of a working vacation."

Naughty New Yorker had another solid campaign in 2007, winning 3 of 11 races and $271,799. The 6-year-old has pulled within $75,000 of $1 million in career earnings.

Meanwhile, Evening Attire continues to defy the calendar. The 10-year-old gray gelding with over $2.7 million in earnings won the Grade 3 Queens County Handicap on Dec. 8 and most recently was a late-running second in the Aqueduct Handicap last Saturday.

Evening Attire's likely next spot is the $75,000 Stymie Handicap on March 1, a race he won last year.

"That's his mission," Kelly said. "I am in awe of his talent and heart. They haven't made too many like him. We're thankful he's feeling good and we'll try to win the Stymie again."

Giant Moon going straight to the Gotham

Trainer Richard Schosberg is sticking to his game plan with the unbeaten Giant Moon, who will make his next start in the Grade 3, $250,000 Gotham Stakes on March 8.

Giant Moon extended his winning streak to four with a neck victory over Spanky Fischbein in the Count Fleet Stakes on Jan. 5.

There is an Aqueduct stakes for 3-year-olds on the horizon, the $100,000 Whirlaway on Feb. 2. Giant Moon is on the list of nominees, but Schosberg will wait for the Gotham.

With the New York area in a cold snap, Schosberg is reluctant to map out a training schedule to reach that target.

"It all depends on the weather," Schosberg said. "I couldn't tell you at all."

With Giant Moon out of the Whirlaway, stakes coordinator Andrew Byrnes has six horses expected for the 1 1/16-mile race: Apple Special, Barrier Reef, Cave's Valley, Roman Emperor, Spanky Fischbein, and Texas Wildcatter.

Roman Emperor ran third as the 2-1 favorite in the Count Fleet following a pair of dominant wins at Philadelphia Park.

Spanky Fischbein and Texas Wildcatter give trainer Todd Pletcher a solid duo. Texas Wildcatter, a homebred for Stonerside Stable, romped by 10 1/2 lengths last time out in a first-level allowance race at Philadelphia Park.

* Devil House ($5.10) broke sharply, set all the fractions, and held off a late run by Charlotte's Di by a half-length to capture Thursday's feature, the $64,950 Happy Princess Stakes for fillies and mares. Chuckie Lopez was aboard as the 4-year-old earned her sixth win in 12 starts in her debut for trainer Bruce Levine.

* Thursday was a tough day at the Big A for trainer Tony Dutrow. He claimed Starbase from the first race for $35,000 only to have the horse pull up on the far turn and be vanned off. Dutrow's Moon Jumper broke down in the third race and was euthanized on the track.