Updated on 09/16/2011 7:06AM

Lord ofthe Thunder key in Lundy's ouster


JAMAICA, N.Y. - Owner Ernie Paragallo said he fired trainer Dick Lundy earlier this week because he was unhappy with the condition of some of his runners. Paragallo is now in the process of finding a new trainer for the 85 horses, including 44 2-year-olds, he has in training.

Over the last several years, Paragallo, who is very hands-on with his racing operation, has frequently changed trainers. Among the owner's past trainers are Jim Ryerson, who trained Paragallo's 1995 Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner, Unbridled's Song, and Louis Albertrani, who trained Artax, the 1999 sprint champion, for Paragallo.

Lundy began training for Paragallo, whose horses run under the name Paraneck Stable, last October.

Paragallo said Lundy wasn't his employee, but rather worked for Paragallo's racing manager, who also was fired. Paragallo and Lundy both declined to identify the racing manager.

"Dick actually was an employee of the racing manager," Paragallo said Wednesday. "Truthfully, this wasn't Dick's fault, he's a great horseman. He just fell into this and he had to go when the racing manager went."

Lundy spent the majority of the winter at Fair Grounds with a string of Paragallo runners and left his Aqueduct stable under the care of an assistant. Paragallo said he was unhappy with the care his horses at Aqueduct were receiving, particularly Lord ofthe Thunder, a promising 3-year-old New York-bred.

Lord ofthe Thunder was being prepared for stakes competition after winning a maiden race and a preliminary allowance race by a combined margin of 21 1/4 lengths, but was sidelined with a sore back and a foot abscess, and sent to a South Carolina farm to recuperate.

Paragallo said, "When we put Lord ofthe Thunder on the van to go to the farm he had lost 200 pounds."

Lundy didn't dispute Paragallo's version of the events, but said Lord ofthe Thunder was the exception, rather than the rule.

"We were doing well with the other horses and Lord ofthe Thunder was just one individual [with a problem]," Lundy said. "It was found out that Lord ofthe Thunder had ulcers and that could have brought on the weight loss."

Lundy did very well with Paragallo's horses in New York. Since Oct. 28, when Lundy saddled his first Paraneck starter at Belmont Park, he built an overall record of 14-8-14, with $461,875 in earnings, from 56 starts. At Aqueduct's inner track meet, Lundy finished eighth in the standings with 12 wins from 38 starts.

Until Paragallo hires a new trainer, the Paraneck horses will run under trainer Joe Aquilino's name. Aquilino, who will saddle Cool Cat for Paragallo in Thursday's eighth race, trained for the owner a few years ago.

Paragallo said Lord ofthe Thunder, back from the farm and fully recovered, will run on April 13 in either the $150,000 Bay Shore or an allowance race.

Lundy, who was training in the Midwest before Paragallo hired him, said he would continue to train the small number of runners he kept for outside clients while he was with Paragallo.

Sunday break works toward Wood start

, preparing for the $750,000 Wood Memorial on April 13, worked a half-mile in 50.63 seconds, breezing, at Aqueduct on Wednesday.

Sunday Break's trainer, Neil Drysdale, was in California and didn't see the work, but received a report from exercise rider Marcelino Olguin.

"It was just an easy breeze to let him stretch his legs," said Drysdale, who also said that Sunday Break would work again before the Grade 1 Wood.

Sunday Break won an Aqueduct allowance race in his last start on March 27.

Evening Attire-Ground Storm, the rematch

Saturday's $200,000, Grade 3 Excelsior Breeders' Cup will feature a rematch between Evening Attire and Ground Storm.

Evening Attire won the Grade 3 Aqueduct Handicap in his last start on Jan. 19. Ground Storm, who finished second in the Aqueduct, won his next two starts, including the Grade 3 Stymie on March 9.

Evening Attire has been assigned 119 pounds as the highweight of the 1 1/8-mile Excelsior. Ground Storm will carry 118. Also pointing to the race are Pleasant Divorce (113), Windsor Castle (113), John Little (111), and Yankee Doodle Boy (111).

Cherokee Beau tough in Friday's feature

Five older male sprinters entered Friday's fourth race, which carries the highest purse of the day, $47,000. The third-level allowance race will be run at six furlongs.

Cherokee Beau, trained by Frank Alexander, looks like he will be tough. A 4-year-old colt, he is coming off three good races at Gulfstream Park, including a second-level allowance win. Cherokee Beau won a preliminary allowance race at Aqueduct at six furlongs last fall.

Javier Castellano rides Cherokee Beau, a son of the Alexander-trained Cherokee Run, the 1994 sprint champion. Cherokee Beau drew post 3.

Also entered is For Love and Honor, who has been stymied at this level in his last three starts, finishing second each time, twice as the favorite.

For Love and Honor worked a bullet three furlongs in 35.65 seconds, breezing, Wednesday at Aqueduct. Richard Migliore rides For Love and Honor, who drew post 4.

- Three Wheeler fractured her skull when she reared up and fell over in the paddock before Wednesday's fourth race. The 3-year-old filly, a claimer, died instantly.