11/20/2002 12:00AM

Orseno pair preps for Grand Slam I


MIAMI - The Gulfstream barn area is slowly starting to come to life with a number of trainers having already shipped in at least a portion of their stables for the winter season. Several trainers will van their horses across town to participate in upcoming stakes at Calder.

Among that group is Joe Orseno, who has three horses bedded down at Gulfstream, including turf specialists Krieger and Golden Corona, a pair of 4-year-olds he plans to run on Calder's Grand Slam I program on Dec. 7.

Krieger is pointing to the $100,000 Tropical Turf Handicap. Golden Corona will compete in the filly counterpart, the $100,000 My Charmer Handicap. Both races are Grade 3's to be run at nine furlongs on the grass.

Krieger, a son of Lord at War, is coming off an impressive 2 1/4-length money allowance win at Aqueduct going a mile over a soft turf course, a victory that earned him a 103 Beyer Speed Figure. In his previous two starts Krieger finished fourth in the Grade 2 Kelso Handicap, and eighth, beaten less than five lengths, in Woodbine's Grade 1 Atto Mile.

Golden Corona finished a troubled fifth, beaten less than six lengths, in the Grade 3 Athenia Handicap at Aqueduct on Nov. 9. She was graded stakes placed on three occasions earlier this year, including a near miss in the Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay Handicap.

"Both horses are doing good right now and I figured why take a gamble on whether they'll have any more grass racing in New York this season," said Orseno. "I figured I might as well just get them down here and and try them in stakes."

Orseno will train a public stable this winter at Gulfstream, after spending the last several seasons as private trainer for Frank Stronach.

"This is going to be like a rebuilding year for me," said Orseno. "I'm going to be a public trainer now. I still have five horses for Mr. Stronach, including Krieger, Golden Corona, and Red Bullet. But I also have five for Dogwood Stable, some for Eugene Melnyk, and others for a few different clients. I'm really excited about the possibilities of growing."

Orseno is awaiting a decision on whether Macho Uno, who ran fifth in the Breeders' Cup Classic, will be kept in training in 2003.

"As soon as he heals a decision will be made on whether he'll race again next season."

Flank Attack points to What a Pleasure

Trainer Bob Durso also shipped to Gulfstream this week and is pointing to the $100,000 What a Pleasure Stakes on Dec. 14 for his promising 2-year-old Flank Attack. The What a Pleasure is carded at 1 1/16 miles.

Flank Attack, a son of End Sweep, was an impressive five-length maiden allowance winner going a mile at The Meadowlands on Oct. 22, snapping a string of three straight second-place finishes.

"I think the further they go, the better he'll like it," said Durso, who trained the multiple Grade 1 winner Frisk Me Now during the late 1990's.

Simon's stable expands

Chuck Simon will take over 16 horses trainer Bob Connors was scheduled to bring to Gulfstream Park this winter. Connors died of a heart attack at home in Pennsylvania last week.

"Originally I was going to have only 10 or 12 horses at Gulfstream along with the 25 I'm taking to the Fair Grounds this winter," said Simon. "Now I'll have 22 stalls in Florida."

Simon said the Connors runners include several "hard-knocking allowance horses," along with some promising, well-bred but as yet unraced 2-year-olds.