03/03/2010 12:00AM

Lukas brings Wow Wow Wow for Gotham

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OZONE PARK, N.Y. - There have been limited sightings of D. Wayne Lukas-trained horses during Aqueduct's winter meeting the last few years. But with the chance to get a 3-year-old on the Triple Crown trail, Lukas has shipped Wow Wow Wow to New York for Saturday's Grade 3, 250,000 Gotham Stakes.

Wow Wow Wow, owned and bred by Saratoga socialite Marylou Whitney, was one of 10 nondescript 3-year-olds entered for the Gotham, which offers $150,000 in graded stakes earnings and is also a stepping-stone to the Grade 1 Wood Memorial to be run here on April 3. Wow Wow Wow has won 2 of 7 starts for Lukas, who has not run a horse over the inner track since Dec. 7, 2007.

Peppi Knows, who won the Whirlaway here on Feb. 6, is one of only two stakes winners entered in the field set to contest 1 1/16 miles around two turns over the inner track. Turf Melody is the other.

In his only stakes try, Wow Wow Wow finished eighth of 12 in the Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn Park on Feb. 13. Lukas said the colt was hampered by starting from post 12 and "never got untangled that day." Wow Wow Wow, a son of Broken Vow, came back with a front-running victory in a first-level allowance from post 10 at Oaklawn on Feb. 13.

"He's really getting better. He's one of those that around this time of year is getting the idea what he's supposed to," Lukas said. "He's a strong, big, powerful-running horse."

For the third straight race, Wow Wow Wow was saddled with the extreme outside in the 10-horse Gotham, but his speed may allow him to overcome that draw. Corey Nakatani has the call.

Lukas has never won the Gotham. Since 1985, he is 0 for 10 - he started two horses in 1990 - with his best finish being Pancho Villa, second in 1985 as the even-money favorite.

"We're due," Lukas said.

One of the surprise entrants in the Gotham was Three Day Rush, who finished third in the Whirlaway and who was initially being pointed to the Fred "Cappy" Capossela going six furlongs. His connections are willing to give Three Day Rush, a son of Harlan's Holiday, another shot around two turns.

From the rail out, the Gotham field is: Three Day Rush, Yawanna Twist, Nacho Friend, Awesome Act, I've Got the Fever, Peppi Knows, Shrimp Dancer, Turf Melody, Afleet Again, and Wow Wow Wow.

The Gotham is one of three stakes on an 11-race Saturday card that begins at 1 p.m. Eastern. The card also includes the Grade 3, $100,000 Toboggan for older sprinters and the $65,000 Capossela Stakes for 3-year-old sprinters.

The late pick four, which has a guaranteed pool of $250,000, will be held on races 8 through 11.

Custom for Carlos ships in for Toboggan

Custom for Carlos, who won the Grade 3 Mr. Prospector Handicap at Gulfstream on Jan. 9, has shipped to New York to take on Wall Street Wonder in Saturday's Grade 3, $100,000 Toboggan Stakes at six furlongs. The Toboggan, the first graded stakes of the year to be run in New York, will go as race 4.

Custom for Carlos drew the rail and will be ridden by Julien Leparoux as the highweight at 123 pounds. Wall Street Wonder, who is 2ofor 2 over the inner track, including an 8 1/2-length score in the Paumonok Stakes here on Jan. 23, drew post 4 and will be ridden by Channing Hill.

Others entered in the Toboggan include Elusive Warning, Driven by Success, and Crimson Comic.

Westover Wildcat tops Capossela field

Westover Wildcat, who won an overnight stakes at Belmont to end his 2-year-old season, ships back to New York for Saturday's Capossela Stakes for 3-year-olds. Six horses were entered for the six-furlong Capossela, which is carded as race 3.

Westover Wildcat, trained by Tony Dutrow, began his 3-year-old season at Gulfstream where he finished third in $100,000 Spectacular Bid Stakes over a sloppy track.

Westover Wildcat will be ridden by Ramon Dominguez from the rail and will carry high weight of 122 pounds.

Golden Ghost, who finished second to Westover Wildcat in the Bold Lad, will make his 3-year-old debut in this spot. Edgar Prado will ride from post 4. John Servis sends up the uncoupled entry of Strapping Groom and Confidence Crisis from Philadelphia Park. Castaneda and Golden Ghost complete the field.

Cool N Collective fifth, likely to be retired

Cool N Collective finished a dull fifth in his bid to win a race at age 13 and will likely be retired, owner Mike Repole said.

After setting the pace with pressure from Ungi Blanc, Cool N Collective was passed at the five-sixteenths pole and checked in 16 1/2 lengths behind 12-1 shot Metulla in Wednesday's fifth race. It was the 81st start of Cool N Collective's career. His record is 15 wins, 27 seconds, and 13 thirds.

Repole said that there is a "90-percent chance" Cool N Collective would be retired and sent to the Old Friends retirement facility in Cabin Creek, N.Y. at the organizaton's Bobby Frankel division, near Saratoga Springs. Repole said he may talk to New York Racing Association officials about perhaps doing something with Cool N Collective to bring additional awareness to horse rescue.

"If this story generated horse rescue awareness then it's all good news," Repole said.

Haynesfield progressing slowly

Haynesfield, who has missed the entire winter because of a foot injury, is back galloping at Belmont, but his connections are not sure when he'll be back to the races.

Haynesfield was the dominant 3-year-old here last winter before finishing eighth in the Gotham which was followed by a lengthy layoff. He won 2 of his 3 races since returning last fall, including the Empire Classic and the Discovery, the latter on Nov. 21.

Haynesfield breezed twice following the Discovery, but sustained a foot injury following a five-furlong breeze on Dec. 15.

"The foot is better, it's not 100 percent yet, but it's doing well," said Toby Sheets, the New York-based assistant for Steve Asmussen. "We're day-to-day, week-to-week. He's doing good. He hasn't missed [training] for a couple of days. I'm pleased with where he's at."