06/22/2001 11:00PM

Macho Uno, Red Bullet work


ELMONT, N.Y. - Joe Orseno's cloudy spring brightened somewhat Saturday morning when Red Bullet and Macho Uno put in sharp workouts over Belmont Park's training track. Although both horses have been training on a farm in Ocala, Fla., these were the first works by either at a racetrack since last year.

Going out after the renovation break, on a freshly harrowed track, Macho Uno, last year's 2-year-old champion colt, drilled four furlongs in 48.03 seconds, the fastest of 23 moves at the distance. Earlier, Red Bullet, last year's Preakness winner, covered the same distance in 49.80 seconds over what clockers described as a "dull strip."

Clockers timed Macho Uno in splits of 12.04 seconds and 23.90, and caught him galloping out five furlongs in 1:01.64. Red Bullet went his first quarter in 25.21 seconds and galloped out five furlongs in 1:02.27. Exercise rider Keith Ricks worked both horses.

"Macho is a little lighter, I'm not going to say he's fitter, and he did everything right," Orseno said. "What I really liked was that Keith said he was real strong and grabbed the bit and he was very aggressive. He truly worked like a champion."

Of Red Bullet, Orseno said, "I didn't want him to work too fast. I know if he had something to go at or go with he was going to do too much."

Orseno said both horses were "30 days away from a race," which means they could be ready by the end of Belmont or the beginning of Saratoga.

Orseno said the return of both Red Bullet and Macho Uno has lifted the spirits around his barn. Orseno is 0 for 17 at the Belmont meet and has also endured an injury to champion turf filly Perfect Sting.