01/17/2004 12:00AM

Ottawa Chief returns for 'Cappy'


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - ran lights-out in his inner-track debut on the day after Christmas. If he runs back to that race, Ottawa Chief is the one to beat in Monday's $75,000 Fred "Cappy" Capossela at Aqueduct.

The six-furlong Capossela drew seven 3-year-olds.

Ottawa Chief showed promise for owner Michael Gill at Laurel Park last fall when he easily won a maiden race over two next-out winners in his second start. But he really stepped up to the plate when he came to Aqueduct and ran in a first-level allowance race on Dec. 26. A son of Forestry, Ottawa Chief won the race by 7 1/2 lengths and covered the six furlongs in 1:10.41. Two races later, Scary Bob, who is entered in the Capossela, won the Maria's Mon Stakes, and his time for six furlongs was 1:11.35.

Phil Schoenthal, Ottawa Chief's trainer, is excited about the colt's future.

"I started training in early November, and I'm just a young trainer without a lot of experience with graded horses, but [Ottawa Chief] is among the best horses I've been around," Schoenthal said. "We would have stretched him out sooner, but there wasn't a race and we didn't want to sit on him. This race is an obvious spot to win a sprint stakes with him."

Abel Castellano Jr. rides Ottawa Chief, who has early speed, from post 4.

Tom Bush, Scary Bob's trainer, would like to see his colt track the early leaders, but realizes that might be difficult because Scary Bob drew the rail.

"I wasn't crazy about the post," Bush said. "I really liked the way he ran last time - he kind of carved a stalking trip off the speed. There might be enough speed to outrun him and he can move out. He is handy enough."

Aaron Gryder rides Scary Bob.

Risky Trick, a well-beaten second in the Count Fleet on Jan. 3, was scratched Saturday from a 1 1/16-mile allowance race to run in the Capossela.

War's Prospect won the New Jersey Futurity at The Meadowlands on Nov. 7, and then was freshened. He might have been a short horse when he finished third in the Maria's Mon, according to his trainer, William Anderson.

Tale of Woe, a closer who was a sharp second in the Maria's Mon, will be a strong threat if a speed duel develops.

M Town is undefeated in two starts, but his Beyer Speed Figures are below the best set by his rivals. Quick Action, fourth as the favorite in the Maria's Mon, completes the field.