12/05/2008 12:00AM

Maker aims to stay hot with N.Y. string

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OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Coming off a record-setting meet at Churchill Downs, trainer Mike Maker hopes to continue his roll this winter in New York. Maker will have 25 to 30 horses stabled here this winter to run during Aqueduct's inner-track meet.

Maker, 39, won 31 races at Churchill Downs, a record for a fall meet. As a former assistant to D. Wayne Lukas, Maker spent one winter in New York running things for his boss.

"I always liked New York," said Maker, whose major client is Ken and Sarah Ramsey. "Our numbers are up right now, a lot of horses seem like an excellent fit, so we'll give it a shot."

Maker already has had success in New York this year, winning eight races at Saratoga from 25 starters.

"We had a great meet at Saratoga, that was part of the decision, too," said Maker, who had one horse entered at Aqueduct on both Saturday and Sunday. "I'm extremely excited about it. I'd like to be able to have a successful meet, build on it, and hopefully be able to stay."

Maker also will have horses at Turfway Park and Gulfstream this winter. Maker, who was due to be in New York this weekend, said he will split the majority of his time between New York and Florida.

While Maker said the majority of his New York stable will be comprised of claimers, he has several soon-to-be 3-year-olds he believes could fit the winter stakes program. Among those horses are Pressure Point, a son of Point Given who won his debut at Churchill going seven furlongs on Nov. 28, and Futuristic, a son of Millennium Wind who has finished second in his first two starts.

Violette re-elected to NYTHA board

Trainer Rick Violette was re-elected president of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association. He ran unopposed.

"I'm happy to continue the important benevolent work being done by NYTHA for its horsemen and backstretch workers," Violette said. "More importantly, I am pleased to have the continuity and support of an effective and informed board of directors to pursue those issues of importance to owners and trainers on the New York Racing Association circuit."

Violette also is a member of the NYRA board of directors.

Trainers Gary Contessa, David Donk, Pat Kelly, Kiaran McLaughlin, and Linda Rice were elected to the NYTHA board as were owners William Discala, Terry Finley, Michael Shanley, Bill Terrill, and Steve Zorn.

Garland of Roses officially scrapped

The $75,000 Garland of Roses was officially canceled after it failed to fill for a second consecutive day. The race will not be brought back.

The Garland of Roses was originally scheduled as a handicap, but only had four entries for Saturday. Racing secretary P.J. Campo put it up as an extra for Sunday and opened the race up to be run under allowance conditions, but it still did not fill.

* Acai, the runner-up in the Pennsylvania Derby, worked six furlongs in 1:15.21 over Aqueduct's inner track Friday. He is eyeing the $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream on Jan. 24. He is nominated to next weekend's Grade 3, $100,000 Queens County Handicap here.

* Jose Henriquez has taken over as the agent for jockey Jeffrey Sanchez. Steve Adika, Sanchez's former agent, is booking mounts for Ariel Smith.