03/09/2006 12:00AM

Parting shots as Pedersen splits with Paraneck


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Paraneck Stable and trainer Jennifer Pedersen have parted ways after five years together. Frank Amonte Jr., Pedersen's assistant, will take over the training of the stable, which includes the highly regarded 3-year-old Achilles of Troy, who will be one of the favorites in the Gotham Stakes here March 18.

Pedersen, 43, said she plans to open a public stable in New York.

Pedersen and Ernie Paragallo, who serves as the authorized agent for the Paraneck Stable, owned by the Paragallo family, have had a tumultuous relationship the last several months. Pedersen has been less visible around the barn and has rarely attended the races since mid-December.

Pedersen said Paragallo no longer heeded her opinion on how horses should be trained and where and when they should run.

"I've been trying to get away from this situation for a long time," Pedersen said. "He kept running them under my name. I'd give my opinion and he would run them anyway."

"In my opinion she's not capable of doing the job right now," Paragallo, 47, said. "Mentally she's not there, and physically she's not there. If she thinks she can handle another job, that's great."

Paraneck was the leading owner during last winter's inner-track meet, winning with 18 of 122 starters. This winter, Paraneck is 16 for 132, second in wins behind Maggi Moss (20 for 60).

Since becoming Paraneck's trainer in the winter of 2001, Pedersen has helped develop several stakes winners, including New York Hero, Griffinite, Redskin Warrior, Lord Ofthe Thunder, Pavo, Devilish Erica, and Achilles of Troy.

Pedersen ran horses in one Kentucky Derby and three Preaknesses, with her best finish being Griffinite's fifth in the 2001 Preakness. Pedersen believes the stable wasted other opportunities to participate in big races.

"We've had a good run; I thought we could have had a much better run," said Pedersen, who since 2001 has won 135 races from 1,413 starters and earned $6.6 million in purses.

Pedersen, who is gifted in the field of breaking young horses - she broke 2002 Belmont Stakes winner Sarava - said she is more driven to succeed as a trainer than ever before.

"I am a horseman, I've always been a horseman, I've proven myself a horseman in spite of working for Ernie Paragallo and knowing how tough he's been in the past with other trainers," Pedersen said.

Paragallo, who has previously used such unheralded horsemen as Joe Aquilino, Louis Albertrani, Jim Ryerson, and Richard Suttle, said he doesn't have a problem with having the inexperienced Amonte prepare Achilles of Troy for the Triple Crown.

"Frank hasn't had experience in Triple Crown races, neither did John Servis," Paragallo said, referring to the trainer of Smarty Jones. "We'll play it by ear. This ain't no great shakes. There's only so many things you can do for a horse."