12/23/2001 1:00AM

Mickey the Groom set for a picture-taking


JAMAICA, N.Y. - The way his horses have been running lately, it seems only a matter of time before trainer Erik Juvenon finds Aqueduct's winner's circle.

His time could come Wednesday when Juvenon sends out Mickey the Groom in the featured preliminary allowance race at nine furlongs as racing resumes at Aqueduct following a three-day holiday break.

Since moving his stable from Delaware Park for the winter, Juvenon is 0 for 13 at Aqueduct, but six of his runners have finished second or third. One of those is Mickey the Groom, who ran evenly while finishing third at this level on Dec. 13. That mile and 70-yard race was Mickey the Groom's first against winners after winning his maiden by 6 1/2 lengths at Laurel Park on Nov. 17.

In his last start, Mickey the Groom raced along the inside for the entire trip, but never really threatened late. The winner, Mount Intrepid, was dropping from stakes company and would most likely be the favorite in this spot. Juvenon believes Mickey the Groom will appreciate the added distance of Wednesday's race.

"He probably needed the race over the track and I think he's a little better going longer," Juvenon said. "His pedigree really shows that. He likes to lay close and then use that ground-eating stride. I think he should move forward with that race over the track."

Mickey the Groom projects to get a stalking trip behind the speed of Peak Affair, Good Man Sam, and Whirley. Mickey the Groom also gets a positive rider change from Joe Rocco Jr. to C.C. Lopez, whose average winner at the inner track meet has returned $16.

Trainer Robert Triola wheels Amarettitorumble back just one week after he finished third in an open $60,000 claiming race. Amarettitorumble has a 1-2-1 record from five inner track starts, his lone win coming in the slop against New York-breds 11 months ago.

Trainer Guadalupe Preciado is just 1 for 19 the last three years over the inner track, but has a contender in Wednesday's feature with Notforloveormoney. A 4-year-old son of Not for Love, Notforloveormoney comes off a second-place finish for a $25,000 xclaiming price over the inner track last out and would need a contentious pace to be most effective.

Vif would also fit here if he goes. Trainer Allen Iwinski also entered Vif in a similar spot at a mile on Thursday, however, and figures more likely to run there having drawn a better post for that race.

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