10/31/2002 12:00AM

Knick's court favors I'm All Yours


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Looking for a winner in Saturday's $150,000 Knickerbocker Handicap at Aqueduct? Then you better study hard.

The Grade 2 Knickerbocker, a 1 1/8-mile grass race, is a wide-open affair. Nine entered the main body of the Grade 2 Knickerbocker. Four horses are entered for main-track only.

North East Bound is the 117-pound highweight and the most accomplished member of the field, but he has lost his last three starts and could be a vulnerable favorite.

Jose Velez Jr. rides North East Bound, who looms the main speed.

I'm All Yours is a horse for the course, with three wins from four starts at Aqueduct. The New York-bred may want firm ground, which he might not get since Aqueduct's turf course has absorbed plenty of rain recently and was listed in soft condition on Thursday.

Jerry Bailey rides I'm All Yours, who drew post 7 and is trained by Todd Pletcher.

Full Flow has won two allowance races at the Knickerbocker distance this year. In the two turf stakes he ran in, Full Flow faced tougher rivals than he will meet here. In his last start, Full Flow set the pace before fading and finishing fifth in a 1 1/4-mile allowance race.

"He's better tucking in behind horses," Full Flow's trainer, John Kimmel, said. Edgar Prado rides.

Polish Miner also was nominated to Tuesday's $100,000-added Stuyvesant, but trainer Shug McGaughey believes the horse is better on grass even though the majority of the horse's wins are on the dirt.

One of Polish Miner's best races on grass was when he finished fourth in the Grade 3 Poker, beaten 3 1/4 lengths by Volponi, who won last weekend's Breeders' Cup Classic.

Pure Prize may be retired

Pure Prize, the winner of the Kentucky Cup Classic, will miss Tuesday's $100,000-added Stuyvesant Handicap, according McGaughey.

McGaughey said Pure Prize hasn't been training to his satisfaction.

"I worked him last week, but I don't want to run him unless he's jumping out of his skin," McGaughey said. "He's not telling me, 'run me, run me.' "

McGaughey said it's possible that Pure Prize would be retired to stud without another start. Pure Prize is a 4-year-old son of Storm Cat out of the McGaughey-trained champion filly Heavenly Prize. "I'm not sure what I'm going to do with him yet," he said.

Pure Prize, who became a stakes winner in the Grade 2 Kentucky Cup Classic at Turfway Park on Sept. 14, has earnings of $475,459 from a record of 5-5-2 in 17 starts. He is owned by Ogden Mills Phipps.

Robbie Davis taking a break

Mike Kelly, jockey agent for Robbie Davis for the last six years, said that Davis is dealing with "personal issues" and is taking an unspecified amount of time off from riding. Davis has not ridden since Sept. 15 at Belmont Park.

This is not the first time that Davis, 41, has taken a break from riding. Davis didn't ride in New York for 4 1/2 years after he was involved in a spill that killed his friend and fellow rider Mike Venezia at Belmont Park in October 1988.

Kelly said Davis is with his wife and children at their Long Island home.

Davis has compiled a record of 62-54-65 from 475 mounts and has earnings of $2,850,512 in New York this year.

Starting this weekend, Kelly will represent jockey Heberto Castillo Jr.

Santos to compete in Japan

Jose Santos, who guided Volponi to a 43-1 upset in the Breeders' Cup Classic last weekend, will take part in a jockey challenge sponsored by the Japan Racing Association at the end of the month.

Santos, along with Kentucky Derby winning rider Victor Espinoza, will represent the U.S. in the competition that features riders from all over the world. The competition will take place from Nov. 27 through Dec. 1.

"I participated about 12 years ago," said Santos, who was chosen before his Breeders' Cup heroics last weekend. "I won one of the races and finished fifth in the competition overall. It's definitely an honor to be chosen."

Controversial Arlington DQ

Trainer Del Carroll II said that owner Stanley Ettinger has filed an appeal with the Illinois Racing Board regarding the disqualification of Tap the Admiral from last Friday's $100,000 John Henry Handicap at Arlington Park.

Tap the Admiral was disqualified from first and placed second behind Riddlesdown in what many believed was a controversial call by the Arlington stewards. The stewards ruled that Tap the Admiral (5-1) fouled Riddlesdown (7-2) near the eighth pole.

"At the worst, it was equal guilt," Carroll said Thursday. "The best horse won." Tap the Admiral, a 4-year-old who won a third-level allowance race at Belmont before running in Chicago, could run back in the $150,000 Red Smith at Aqueduct on Nov. 23.

* In addition to re-electing Richard Bomze as president last week, the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association re-elected its four incumbent owner board members - Thomas Boyan, Charles Reiss, Dan Schmidt, and Michael Shanley - and three incumbent trainer members - David Donk, Pat Kelly, and Rick Violette. Additionally, Robert Fox was elected the new owners' board member while newly elected members of the trainers' board are Gary Contessa and Linda Rice.

The alternate owners' board member is Steven Zorn. The alternate trainers' board member is James Ferraro.

* Trainer Joe Orseno won a race in New York for the first time since May 27 when Krieger won the seventh race on Thursday. According to statistics kept by the New York Racing Association, Orseno was 0 for 55 heading into Thursday's card.

* Babae, winner of the Grade 3 Violet Handicap in her last start, worked five furlongs in 1:01.92 over Belmont's main track on Wednesday. It was the fastest of seven works at the distance. Babae is expected to make her next start in the $100,000 Athenia Handicap at Aqueduct on Nov. 9.

* Next week, Aqueduct will be open for racing on Tuesday, Election Day, and closed on Monday and Wednesday. Entries for Tuesday's card will be taken on Saturday.

- additional reporting by David Grening