04/21/2005 11:00PM

Much-needed vacation ends

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Karakorum Splendor returns from a long layoff in the Park Avenue.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - After racing five times in 78 days at three different distances, Karakorum Splendor was in need of a break following a disappointing fifth-place finish in last December's East View Stakes.

Karakorum Splendor returns from a 140-day vacation on Sunday against 10 other 3-year-old daughters of New York-based stallions in the $150,000 Park Avenue Stakes at Aqueduct. The Park Avenue will be run as the finale on a nine-race card that also includes the Times Square Stakes for colts and geldings.

Karakorum Splendor is the only stakes winner in the field, having taken the Fifth Avenue Division of the New York Stallion Stakes last November. That win made her the favorite in the East View, but she stumbled at the break, was forced wide entering the first turn, and chased a slow pace before backing up to fifth.

"She was all right physically. We had done a lot with her in a short period of time and she lost her mind,'' trainer Jimmy Jerkens said. "We ran her six furlongs, then a mile, then six, and then a mile-and-a-sixteenth, but it was hard to pass up that money.''

The Park Avenue is run as a one-turn mile race, something Jerkens said he feels is well within Karakorum Splendor's scope.

Jerkens likes the way Karakorum Splendor is acting leading up to her return, but cautioned "she doesn't look like I would like her to,'' he said.

Karakorum Splendor, who breaks from post 4 as the 122-pound highweight under Mike Luzzi, will race on Lasix for the first time.

Pretty Suzi may be the horse to beat in the Park Avenue. After she bombed as the favorite in her debut, trainer James Bond added blinkers to her equipment and she romped to a 6 1/2-length victory in a one-mile maiden race. That victory was in the slop, conditions that might be prevalent on Sunday.

"There may be moisture in the track, and I don't think that will bother her,'' Bond said. "The blinkers focused her a little better her last start and she's trained forwardly.''

Pablo Fragoso chose to ride Pretty Suzi over Karakorum Splendor.

Tomorrows Lady, trained by Todd Pletcher, has won twice in distances beyond one mile and is certainly bred to handle a wet track.

R.B's Token, Ms. Litigator, and Avery Hall are also contenders.

B.B. Best aimed at Withers

B.B. Best, third behind High Fly in both the Fountain of Youth and Florida Derby, will ship here on Monday from Florida to run in next Saturday's $150,000 Withesr Stakes, trainer Eddie Plesa confirmed.

B.B. Best will be one of 10 horses Plesa plans to have stabled in New York this summer.

"He needs to get out of Florida and the time frame fits him and the distance fits him,'' Plesa said Friday from south Florida. "I think it's just the timing more than anything.''

B.B. Best, a son of Yes It's True, won 4 of 7 starts as a 2-year-old, including three stakes. In three starts this year, B.B. Best finished fourth behind Lost in the Fog in the Sunshine Millions Dash before setting the pace and giving way in the Fountain of Youth and Florida Derby, both nine-furlong races.

"He finished two very good thirds going a mile and an eighth; I don't think it's his best distance,'' Plesa said. "If he took after his father, that wouldn't be a bad thing.''

Yes It's True won 11 of 22 starts, including several graded sprint stakes.

Others pointing to the Withers are Park Avenue Ball, Proud Accolade, Scrappy T, Smokescreen, and White Socks.

Paraneck drops Gotham appeal

Owner Ernie Paragallo and trainer Jennifer Pedersen have withdrawn their appeal of the disqualification of Pavo from second place in last month's Gotham Stakes. Thus, the original order of finish will stand.

Pavo finished second behind Survivalist, but was disqualified to fourth after jockey Alan Garcia's whip inadvertently struck third-place finisher Naughty New Yorker in the face near the wire. Garcia had ridden half the race without his irons. After the race, Pedersen claimed that Garcia's feet were knocked out of the irons due to a bumping incident on the backside.

Two Turner horses test positive

Two horses trained by Billy Turner turned up positive for Fluphenazine, a tranquilizer, and were ruled unplaced in the order of finish for their respective races. Morph had finished first in the second race at Aqueduct on Feb. 17, and Itchy finished second in the fourth race on Feb. 20.

The rules governing Fluphenazine are such that the trainer is not held responsible for the finding of this medication in a horse. Thus, no action was taken against Turner. The reason for that is the medication is known to linger in a horse's system for long time.

Trainer Mark Shuman had two horses test positive for Fluphenazine last summer at Saratoga and also had no action taken against him.

Turner has appealed the disqualifications in part because it cost the horses a total of $32,800 in purse money.