10/22/2001 11:00PM

Mile: Plans re-worked for 'Success'


ELMONT, N.Y. - A different training routine on Tuesday for Affirmed Success has trainer Richard Schosberg eager for Saturday's $1 million Breeders' Cup Mile at Belmont Park.

One of the leading contenders for the Mile, Affirmed Success worked a half-mile on turf in 47.80 seconds as timed by official clockers.

Typically, before a workout Affirmed Success jogs clockwise on the turf course to the finish line and then turns around and gallops to the starting point of the work. On Tuesday, Affirmed Success jogged to the turf course entrance, and went straight down the stretch to the half-mile pole.

Schosberg altered the routine to keep the 7-year-old Affirmed Success from starting his workout too quickly on the turf course.

"He's a hard horse to trick because he tricks us more than we trick him," Schosberg said.

Last year, Affirmed Success ran fourth in the Mile, beaten only a half-length. This year he has run first or second in three stakes. On Sept. 9, he finished second by a nose in the Grade 1 Atto Mile under Jerry Bailey, who has the mount again on Saturday.

In Tuesday's work, Affirmed Success was ridden by 63-year-old Hans Nielsen, and was difficult for the rider to pull up. Schosberg timed the workout in 47.60 seconds.

"He's like, 'Hans, can you please turn my head loose,' " Schosberg said as he watched Nielsen pull up his mount.

Despite his strong record, Affirmed Success will be a price, perhaps 8-1, in a competitive Mile.

"I'd say that worked out pretty good," Schosberg said of the morning exercise. "I can breathe now. I'll be able to eat by tomorrow."

Noverre, the winner of the Group 1 Sussex Stakes at Goodwood, England, in August, is likely to be favored at post time, but could be as much as 7-2 or 4-1.

American stakes winners Val Royal, Irish Prize, and Forbidden Apple will be well backed.

Among the longshots, Navesink is a proven commodity on Belmont's turf course. A 3-year-old, Navesink won the Grade 2 Jamaica Handicap over 1 1/8 miles on Sept. 23, and was a game third in the Hill Prince Stakes on June 16. In addition, he won an allowance race on this turf course in May.

Trained in New Jersey by Alan Goldberg, Navesink will arrive at Belmont Park on Friday, the final day for all entrants to be on the grounds. Goldberg said he would have been content shipping on the morning of the race.

The Breeders' Cup Mile will be Navesink's first stakes appearance against older horses.

Goldberg said he was debating between the Breeders' Cup Mile and the $500,000 Hollywood Derby on Nov. 25, and decided that Navesink deserved a chance at the bigger purse.

"He's doing great," Goldberg said. "I think with the way he's training he deserves to be there."

Owned by Jayeff B Stable, Navesink will be Goldberg's first Breeders' Cup starter in 11 years. In 1990, he and Jayeff B Stable won a thrilling running of the Sprint with the filly Safely Kept, who won by a neck over Dayjur, who may have lost the race by jumping over shadows twice in deep stretch.