01/29/2003 12:00AM

Kiss a Miss dropping from tougher company


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Horsemen and horses will receive a break from the bitter cold when temperatures climb above the freezing mark by the end of the week in New York. Racing fans also will be treated to a rare weekday overnight stakes at Aqueduct on Friday.

Nine fillies and mares were entered in the $60,000 Videogenic, named for a former New York claiming horse who became a multiple stakes winner.

The 1 1/16-mile Videogenic drew a competitive field, including Kiss a Miss, who finished third in the Grade 3 Affectionately Handicap, and Ms. Rapunzel, an easy winner of allowance races in her last two starts.

Kiss a Miss, owned by Noreen Carpenito and trained by Phil Johnson, has turned in two good efforts at the inner track meet. After winning a two-turn classified allowance race by six lengths Dec. 27 over a muddy track, Kiss a Miss returned in the 1 1/16-mile Affectionately Jan. 11 and was beaten 4 1/4 lengths by graded stakes winner Zonk, the favorite.

"[Kiss a Miss] is not a speedball and I think the two turns helped her," Johnson said.

Jean-Luc Samyn, who rode Cyber Secret to victory in Sunday's Busanda, has the mount on Kiss a Miss, who drew the rail post.

Because she beat weak opposition in her allowance victories, Ms. Rapunzel failed to prove she belonged in the Affectionately, said her trainer, Bruce Levine.

"She ran against nobody in both those starts," Levine said. "She didn't prove anything. I don't know really where I'm at, but believe me, I think she is a nice filly."

Mike Luzzi rides Ms. Rapunzel, who has enough speed to race from a striking position. She'll break from post 4.

Pocus Hocus, who has early speed and likes the inner track, had nothing left for the stretch run of the Affectionately after setting the pace and running a half-mile in 45.87 seconds. She finished fifth, beaten 20 1/2 lengths. Before the Affectionately, Pocus Hocus raced through more moderate fractions and won a second-level allowance race by 11 1/2 lengths.

"She just went too fast in [the Affectionately], Pocus Hocus's trainer, Jimmy Jerkens, said. "Probably, if the half was 47 she would have kept going."

Pocus Hocus might have to match strides early with Miss Splash, who is looking for her first win since last August.

Arabis, a Deputy Minister filly trained by Shug McGaughey, won back-to-back allowance races before being beaten by Short Note as the heavy favorite here on Jan. 15. Arabis finished second, beaten 6 1/2 lengths by Short Note, who set an uncontested and soft pace.

Javier Castellano, the meet's leading rider, rides Arabis.

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