04/27/2007 12:00AM

Pa Pa Da is horse for the course


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Subscribers to the horses-for-courses handicapping angle should find betting value in Pa Pa Da in Sunday's Grade 3, $100,000 Fort Marcy Handicap, the featured event on closing day at Aqueduct.

A field of eight colts and geldings were entered for the Fort Marcy provided it remains at 1 1/16 miles on the turf as scheduled. Five horses, including Evening Attire, are entered should wet conditions force the race to the main track. The Fort Marcy tops a nine-race closing-day card that also includes the Kings Point for New York-breds.

Pa Pa Da, a 6-year-old New York-bred gelding, has 2 wins and 2 seconds from 4 starts over Aqueduct's turf. He won a New York Stallion Stakes in 2004 and an open company third-level allowance race in 2005. A year ago, he finished second in the Fort Marcy at 9-1 before ending his campaign with a fast-closing second in another New York Stallion Stakes. He has not run since Nov. 5.

"Last year, he ran a really good race," trainer David Donk said of the Fort Marcy. "That horse of Greg Sacco's [Foreverness] ran lights out. [Pa Pa Da] just runs well over that course and he stands a good chance because of that."

Donk had Pa Pa Da entered in an allowance race at Laurel a few weeks ago, but scratched when the race was moved to the dirt.

The horses to beat in the Fort Marcy are Baron Von Tap and Cosmic Kris, the one-two finishers from a third-level allowance race three weeks ago at Gulfstream Park. Baron Von Tap has 1 win from 4 starts this year, but his trainer, Howie Tesher, believes he could have won three of those races, including the Tampa Bay Downs Breeders' Cup in which he finished fourth, beaten less than two lengths.

"He was closing on the outside and if he stays there he's going to run by them all," Tesher said. "The jock moved him to the inside and he got stopped."

Cosmic Kris finished 1 1/4 lengths behind Baron Von Tap in the aforementioned allowance race, in which the horse lost some ground rallying four wide in the stretch. "I thought the horse ran very gamely that day," trainer Tom Albertrani said. "Going into his last race I thought he was training the best I'd ever seen."

Grand Couturier is Grade 1-placed in the U.S., but foot problems forced him to miss the marathon races in south Florida to which his connections felt he was better suited.