03/31/2006 12:00AM

Lukas heads out to Kentucky

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Henny Hughes, runner-up in the 2005 BC Juvenile, will point toward a summer campaign rather than the Kentucky Derby. Trainer D. Wayne Lukas has closed down his New York operation until the summer.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - While most of the major New York outfits will soon be returning, one prominent horseman has left.

Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas last month shipped all his horses out of New York and will not have a string for the Aqueduct or Belmont spring meets. The placards celebrating his numerous Triple Crown victories during the 1990's have been removed from Belmont Park's Barn 10 and soon the empty stalls will be filled with horses trained by Tom Albertrani.

"Our clientele want us to concentrate on Churchill and Keeneland," said Lukas - who has won six Belmont spring trainer titles - from his Churchill Downs barn on Friday. "Overbrook [Farm] is based here and they pretty much asked us to concentrate here. To be fair to New York and to NYRA we have to give up our barn. I didn't feel like we could put 30 head in there and be competitive to merit all the rent for the help. It was more an economic decision than anything."

Lukas runners went 2 for 16 over Aqueduct's inner track. His last New York starter was on Feb. 26.

Lukas, 70, will have horses based at Churchill Downs and Arlington Park this summer. When Churchill closes, Lukas plans to maintain a string at Saratoga made up primarily of 2-year-olds.

"When this closes, we'll move the 'A' team up to Saratoga," Lukas said.

Lukas said depending on "if our 2-year-olds start coming around and we feel like we'll be competitive," he might request stalls for the Belmont fall meet.

McLaughlin works Like Now and Jazil

Before heading to south Florida for Saturday's Florida Derby, where he was to run Flashy Bull, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin had a busy morning at Belmont Park with his 3-year-olds based in New York.

McLaughlin was on hand as Gotham winner Like Now worked four furlongs in 47.43 seconds and Jazil work five furlongs in 1:00.06. Both works were conducted over Belmont's training track.

Like Now is working toward a start in the $750,000 Wood Memorial on Saturday. Jazil, who bled while finishing seventh in the Fountain of Youth, is a candidate for the Wood, but is more likely to run in the Blue Grass at Keeneland on April 15.

McLaughlin had expressed some concern about running Like Now back in three weeks off a career-best performance in the Gotham.

"But he's doing great, he loves New York, he loves Aqueduct," McLaughlin said. "Keyed Entry is coming back in three weeks and he's probably the horse to beat. Bob and John is flying in California and he's coming back in three weeks.''

McLaughlin is somewhat hesitant to run Jazil in the Blue Grass because that horse is a closer and Keeneland is known as a speed-favoring track.

"But the three top horses - First Samurai, Bluegrass Cat, and Strong Contender - they all have speed," McLaughlin said. "Maybe that sets it up for a closer. Last year, Bandini came from off the pace pretty good."

Also Friday, Henny Hughes - the runner-up in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile and Hopeful - was released from quarantine after arriving Wednesday from Dubai. McLaughlin reiterated that Henny Hughes is not under consideration for the Kentucky Derby. Henny Hughes was to begin training on Saturday and will be pointed to a summer campaign.

Scrappy T fires bullet

Scrappy T, the Preakness runner-up who has been troubled by a recurrence of a back problem that first cropped up last summer, returned to the work tab eagerly Friday morning, drilling four furlongs in 47.17 seconds over Belmont's training track. It was the fastest of 40 recorded workouts at the distance.

It was Scrappy T's second published work of the year, and first since Feb. 17 when he worked a leisurely three furlongs in 37.96 seconds.

Trainer Robert Bailes said he wasn't looking for such a fast work, but Scrappy T spotted a horse five lengths in front of him and went after that horse.

"That sped up the work a little bit more than we wanted," Bailes said. "He went a little quicker than I thought he was ready for. He seemed to come back no wears or tears."

Bailes said that before Friday's work, Scrappy T had been doing a lot of jogging for the last several weeks. Bailes said he would need to see Scrappy T work a few more times before pinpointing his return, but added "we might be 30 days away."

Arroyo gets days; may get more

The stewards gave jockey Norberto Arroyo Jr. a seven-day suspension for his ride aboard La Belle Suzine in Thursday's sixth race. Arroyo, who appealed that suspension, may get more days for his ride aboard Successful Romance in Friday's third race.

On Thursday, Arroyo allowed La Belle Suzine to come in on Raise the Weight, forcing jockey Eibar Coa to take up. La Belle Suzine was disqualified from third and placed fourth.

On Friday, Arroyo's mount Successful Romance came over on Magic Momentum leaving the starting gate. Magic Momentum clipped heels with Successful Romance and nearly unseated jockey Channing Hill. Successful Romance went on to a 2 1/2-length victory while Magic Momentum finished fourth.

The stewards posted the inquiry sign, but they took no action. Though replays did not appear to support his claim, state steward Carmine Donofrio said Arroyo made an attempt to keep his mount off of Magic Momentum. Also, Donofrio said Hill told the stewards his horse broke a little slow.

Asked if it was possible that Arroyo could get days for that ride, Donofrio said "We'll talk about that [Saturday]."

Controversy has swirled around Arroyo all month. On March 1, he got upset when the stewards disqualified his mount Prince of Peace from first for alleged interference in the stretch. Arroyo received a three-day suspension and was fined $1,000 for "display of temper towards a racing official."

* Breeders' Cup Mile winner Artie Schiller, working toward his return in the April 14 Maker's Mark Mile at Keeneland, worked seven furlongs in 1:27.51 Friday over Belmont Park's training track.