09/05/2001 12:00AM

Orseno reloads and takes aim again


ELMONT, N.Y. - Still basking in the success of Macho Uno's victory in Monday's Pennsylvania Derby, trainer Joe Orseno now looks to Red Bullet to keep things rolling in Saturday's Grade 1 Woodward Stakes at Belmont Park.

Like Macho Uno on Monday, Red Bullet will be making just his second start of the year in the Woodward. Unlike Macho Uno, who lost his seasonal debut, Red Bullet is coming off a victory in a seven-furlong allowance race at Saratoga on July 28.

Red Bullet, last year's Preakness winner, was away from the races for more than year with a variety of ailments. It certainly looked as though those problems were behind him when he won last month, and Orseno has been pleased with the progress Red Bullet has made since then.

"He was carrying plenty of flesh then and he didn't lose any weight," Orseno said. "He's feeling great, training smart."

Orseno shipped Red Bullet out of Saratoga early in order for him to get a breeze over Belmont's main track. On Sunday, Red Bullet went six furlongs in 1:12 and galloped out a mile in 1:42.

"He's definitely fit," Orseno said. "He's ready to take the next step. It's only his second start, but it was only Macho Uno's second race too. He's doing equally as well, if not a little better than Macho Uno."

Red Bullet's task will be much tougher than Macho Uno's because of the competition. Red Bullet will face 2000 Horse of the Year Tiznow as well as Grade 1 winners Albert the Great and Lido Palace.

Gary Stevens, who replaced Jerry Bailey aboard Macho Uno in the Pennsylvania Derby, will also take over for Bailey aboard Red Bullet. Bailey has opted to stick with Lido Palace, aboard whom he won the Whitney Handicap in July.

Meanwhile, Orseno said that Macho Uno came out of the Pennsylvania Derby in good order and is on target for the Ohio Derby at Thistledown on Sept. 29.

Orseno said Krieger, a turf allowance winner at Saratoga on Monday, will make his next start in the $200,000 Jamaica Handicap at Belmont on Sept. 23

Now or never for Caressing

Caressing will have one more opportunity to prove to her connections that she should be pointed to the Breeders' Cup Distaff when she runs in Saturday's $250,000 Gazelle Handicap.

Caressing won last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at 47-1 and earned an Eclipse Award as 2-year-old champion filly. In four starts this year, she has two wins and two poor efforts. One of those poor showings came in the Grade 1 Acorn at Belmont, where she finished fifth, beaten 13 lengths.

Trainer David Vance believes that Caressing is a better horse racing around two turns than one. But because the World Thoroughbred Championships is being held at Belmont, that means the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff, run at nine furlongs, will be contested around one turn. The Gazelle, a Grade 1, is run at nine furlongs around one turn.

"If you have any chance of running in the Breeders' Cup, you got to run around one turn," Vance said. "You got to run in New York to win the money this year."

Caressing is coming off a victory in the Singapore Plate at Arlington. It was her first race equipped with blinkers, and Vance believes they made a difference.

"She went in between horses at the three-and-a-half [pole] no problem," Vance said. "A horse hooked her from the outside and it didn't bother her at all. I could tell in the morning, she's more intent."

Rene Douglas, who rode Caressing in her last start, will ride again in the Gazelle. Others expected to run in the Gazelle are Fleet Renee, Exogenous, Real Cozzy, Starrer, Two Item Limit, and Transcendental.

Flute, winner of the Alabama, was not nominated to the Gazelle. Trainer Bobby Frankel said Wednesday he is now leaning to running Flute in the Beldame on Oct. 6 as her final prep for the Breeders' Cup Distaff.

Mutafaweq on course for Man o' War

After spending less than two days in quarantine in Newburgh, N.Y. Mutafaweq arrived at Belmont Park late Monday afternoon and has been able to train the last two days in preparation for Saturday's Man o' War.

"He's good, very good, no problem," said Laurent Barbarin, an assistant at Godolphin Racing, owner of Mutafaweq. "The quarantine obviously doesn't help. Today, was his first day of normal galloping."

Barbarin said Mutafaweq has a "strong temper" and can often be his own worst enemy. Mutafaweq, who won the Group 1 Coronation Cup two starts back, makes his first start in North America since he won the Canadian International last October.

Others expected for the Man o' War, run at 1 3/8 miles on turf, are Ela Athena, Forbidden Apple, Fusaichi Zenon, Glyndebourne, John's Call, Just Listen, Silvano, and With Anticipation.

On Wednesday, With Anticipation, winner of the Sword Dancer, worked five furlongs in 1:02.50 over Saratoga's Oklahoma training turf course.

Bailey picks up Heavyweight Champ

Jerry Bailey will ride Heavyweight Champ in the $200,000 Futurity to be run here on Sept. 16, trainer John Terranova confirmed Wednesday. Bailey replaces Richard Migliore, who rode him to a third-place finish in the Sanford and a second-place finish in the Saratoga Special.

On Wednesday, Heavyweight Champ breezed seven furlongs in 1:26.82 over Belmont's main track. He worked behind Brocco Bob, who stopped his worked at the quarter pole. Bailey was not aboard for Wednesday's move, but did work him before he left Saratoga.

Also on Wednesday for Terranova, Gander breezed five furlongs in 1:02.27 in preparation for the $500,000 Meadowlands Cup on Sept. 28.

'Sudden Death' returns

Following the success of "Saratoga Sudden Death," the New York Racing Association will offer "Belmont Fall Sudden Death" for the upcoming meeting.

The online contest, accessed at www.nyra.com, asks contestants to correctly select one horse from each card to finish first, second, or third. If successful on opening day, contestants move on to the next day and so on. The last handicapper remaining wins $5,000.

All registrations must be received by noon Friday. The deadline to make each daily selections is 12:30 p.m. Eastern.

More than 4,000 contestants played Saratoga Sudden Death.