12/04/2006 1:00AM

Paullinus returning to the dirt


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Though his breeding suggests he should have handled the turf, Paullinus went winless in two grass attempts over that surface. Wednesday, Paullinus returns to dirt in a $46,000 allowance feature at Aqueduct for horses who have never won two races.

Paullinus is a son of A.P. Indy, but he is out of the mare Lailani, who won the Grade 1 Flower Bowl Invitational at Belmont Park in 2001. After winning an off-the-turf maiden race and finishing second in a first-level allowance race on dirt, Paullinus moved to the turf, where he was beaten a combined 17 lengths in two races.

"He had a rough trip first time on the turf, and he had a rough trip the second time on the turf," trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said. "He's doing really well, and he should run well."

Paullinus's two best dirt races came at 1 1/8 miles, the distance of Wednesday's heat. Fernando Jara rides Paullinus from post 5.

McLaughlin saddles Paullinus for Darley Stable, which will see a familiar runner in the field. Barcola was owned by Darley before Darley sold him and another horse to Winning Move Stable and Gary Contessa earlier this fall.

In his first start for Winning Move and Contessa, Barcola set strong fractions before finishing second, 7o1/2 lengths behind favored Spring at Last, in a swiftly run allowance race going a one-turn mile over Aqueduct's main track.

Barcola, whose lone win came in a two-turn mile race at Calder 13 months ago, is likely to be the main speed again under Ramon Dominguez.

"With the speed he showed last time out, how tough is he going to be on the inner track?" said Contessa, who went a strong 9 for 32 during the first week of the inner-track meet. "We may have to find out how well he rates."

Contessa is somewhat leery of I'm Not Guilty, a speedy horse trained by Charles Carlesimo who will break from post 2 under Eddie King.

Dancing Forever and Broadway Producer are other contenders in the field. Dancing Forever finished three-quarters of a length behind Barcola in Spring at Last's Aqueduct allowance race and has worked well since for trainer Shug McGaughey. Broadway Producer earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 86 winning an off-the-turf maiden race over Aqueduct's main track on Nov. 2.

Completing the field are Greg Got Even, a Tim Hills-trained runner who has not been out in 13 months, along with Fly So Far, Tasteyville, and Kingofthenight.