01/08/2002 1:00AM

Old mare gets new look


JAMAICA, N.Y. - Strolling Belle, a 6-year-old mare, will sport a new look when she runs in Saturday's $100,000-added Affectionately Handicap at Aqueduct.

Trainer John Kimmel said Strolling Belle, second in last year's Grade 3 Affectionately, will race with blinkers for the first time in her career in the 1 1/16-mile stakes.

Kimmel said it was an idea he had toyed with before, but decided against it because the mare, who makes her 29th career start on Saturday, was running well enough without blinkers.

Last year, Strolling Belle made it to the winner's circle only once - the Personal Ensign at Monmouth Park - but also managed three runner-up finishes and a pair of third-place finishes.

In her last start on Dec. 22, Strolling Belle was third in the Grade 3 Ladies Handicap.

"It seems at times she loses her concentration," Kimmel said. "She tries to duck and get away from horses when she's in tight. She always seems to get herself in trouble. She breezed brilliantly with the blinkers. When she galloped with them she was very aggressive. I thought about putting them on before, but I figured I didn't need to sharpen her for a race like the Ladies at a mile and a quarter."

With blinkers, Strolling Belle worked a half-mile in 50.45 seconds, breezing, over the training track at Belmont Park on Sunday.

Kimmel said Strolling Belle likely will head to the breeding shed this season, but could start once more after Saturday, depending upon her Affectionately performance.

Kimmel also nominated It All Adds Up to the Affectionately, but he said she would run instead in the $50,000 Nellie Morse at Laurel on Jan. 20.

A competitive and large field is taking shape for the Affectionately. Among the probables are Tugger, the 118-pound highweight; Zonk (116); People's Princess (115); A.O.L Hayes (114); Poivre (114); Rochelle's Terms (114); Search Party (114); A.P. Andie (113); and Tsuyu (109). Double Trick (112) is possible.

Kimmel loses four horses to Perkins

Kimmel said he was disappointed that four horses he trained for Charles Hesse's Char-Mari Stable were given to trainer Ben Perkins Jr. on Monday. Kimmel was particularly high on Spin Zone, whom he intended to run in the $75,000-added Fred Capossela on Jan. 21. Spin Zone, a winner of his last two, beat Mabry's Boy in a December allowance race at Aqueduct. Mabry's Boy came back and won the Grade 3 Spectacular Bid at Gulfstream last week.

Perkins previously trained for Hesse and won the 1993 Wood Memorial with the Hesse-owned Storm Tower.

Jerkens doubles up for Paumonok

Trainer Jimmy Jerkens reports that * came out of his win in Saturday's Count Fleet Stakes in good order and will be pointed to the $75,000-added Whirlaway, a 1 1/16-mile race on Feb. 9.

Jerkens also said that Voodoo, second in last year's Whirlaway, will run in the $75,000-added Paumonok Handicap at six furlongs on Jan. 26.

Jerkens will have two for the Paumonok as he also intends to run Wrangler, a 7 1/2-length winner of an allowance here on New Year's Day. Wrangler covered the six furlongs in 1:10.18, a full second faster than Xtra Heat, who won the Interborough two races later, and earned a 110 Beyer Speed Figure.

Wrangler is one of six horses Jerkens recently was given by Frank Stronach to train.

Boston Party's target uncertain Speaking of gaudy Beyer Speed Figures, * earned a 111 for his win over Grade 1 winner Affirmed Success in an allowance race. Boston Party collared Affirmed Success nearing the wire and covered the mile and 70 yards in 1:39.63.

Laurie LaFavers, an assistant to Boston Party's trainer, Lenny Imperio, said no decision has been made on Boston Party's next start. The 6-year-old Boston Party is nominated to the $100,000-added Aqueduct Handicap on Jan. 19.

LaFavers said Saturday's win was particularly rewarding for Imperio's staff since Boston Party is a handful around the barn.

"He's not an easy horse to deal with, so this really is a team effort," LaFavers said.

- Apprentice Roberto Villafan was fined $500 by the Aqueduct stewards for misjudging the finish line in Saturday's second race. Villafan finished second aboard Gold N Fancy, beaten a neck by Grand V.



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