01/26/2004 12:00AM

Peeping Tom good as new for next race


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Now that it appears he has returned to form, Peeping Tom will return to graded stakes competition for his next start, which will likely be the Grade 2, $200,000 General George Handicap at Laurel Park on Feb. 16. Peeping Tom won the General George in 2001 and finished second in 2003.

A 7-year-old gelding, Peeping Tom rallied Saturday to run down Don Six and take the $83,025 Paumonok by a head at Aqueduct. He broke a three-race losing streak and allayed fears that perhaps he had lost a step. He earned a 101 Beyer Speed Figure for the effort, the exact figure he received winning the James B. Moseley Handicap at Suffolk last June.

After the win in the Moseley, however, Peeping Tom managed only one win from six starts, an allowance score at The Meadowlands. Before Saturday's race, he had dropped his last three races.

Trainer Pat Reynolds and his veterinarian deduced that he was suffering a gastric problem, and treated Peeping Tom with ulcer medication. Reynolds also backed off in his training somewhat, and the result Saturday was the old Peeping Tom.

"It makes you grateful to be around a horse like that," Reynolds said. "He calmed down, we took care of the gastric problem, and I think that made the difference."

The General George is run at seven furlongs over a track at which Peeping Tom has run well. Other contenders in the field include Gators N Bears and My Good Trick, the one-two finishers from Saturday's Hoover Stakes at Laurel who appear better at six furlongs than seven.

"The seven furlongs favor me more than it does any of them," Reynolds said. "The seven-eighths does eliminate some of the top-class horses that can get away from him going three-quarters."

Meanwhile, Don Six will be pointed to the Grade 3, $100,000 Toboggan Handicap at seven furlongs over Aqueduct's outer track March 13, said Stacey Parker, assistant to trainer Frank Generazio.

While Parker said she'd prefer the Toboggan to be run at six furlongs over the inner track - as was the case last year, when bad weather postponed the opening of the main track - Don Six did win an allowance race and finished second in the Bay Shore Stakes on the main track, both at seven furlongs.

A carryover - if they run

Secret Run and Black Silk, who dead-heated to win a second-level allowance race here Jan. 1, are set to meet again in a third-level allowance that highlights Wednesday's nine-race card. There is a pick-six carryover of $36,082 entering the day.

Of course, Wednesday's card could be in jeopardy if the forecast for snow Tuesday into Wednesday is accurate.

Secret Run has won three straight races and his last four dirt starts. Secret Run was claimed for $40,000 by Frank Laboccetta on Oct. 17 and has posted two straight allowance wins since. He figures to show speed from the rail but could face pressure from Trial Prep or Team Player.

Trainer Laurie LaFavers is probably hoping for a speed duel since her Black Silk likes to come from off the pace. Last time out, Black Silk made up a six-length deficit in the stretch to earn the dead heat with Secret Run.

Trial Prep is the wildcard in this field. His last two races look bad on paper, including a fifth-place finish in the Alex M. Robb Handicap at 1 1/16 miles in his last start. Before that, he was beaten 17 3/4 lengths at this level by Stockholder, who was a 14-length winner that day. Trial Prep won the last time he raced at six furlongs, in a New York-bred entry-level allowance race March 28, 2002.

Pletcher barn on a roll

Last winter, trainer Todd Pletcher's New York stable managed only five winners from 63 starters over the inner track. This year, Pletcher left behind better quality stock, and it is reflected in the fact that his outfit, run by Seth Benzel, ranks third in wins with 10.

The Pletcher barn has won with the last three horses it has run - Bohemian Lady on Friday, Volkonsky on Saturday, and Wild Horses on Sunday - and is now 10 for 41 at the meet. Only Richard Dutrow Jr. and Scott Lake have more wins than Pletcher.

"For years, January has been a little bit slow, whether it's a bug going through the barn or whatever. But this January, we're cranking up, and when I look down the shed row I see a lot of horses sitting on good performances," Benzel said

Benzel said he believes Bali Cruise, a 3-year-old Quiet American filly entered in a maiden race Wednesday at a mile and 70 yards, is one of those horses. Bali Cruise finished fourth when she sprinted in her first start, and Benzel believes she will benefit from two turns.

Meanwhile, Bohemian Lady is now 2 for 2 after winning a Friday allowance race.

"It took her while to come along," Benzel said. "She's been a horse who's definitely stepped it up under racing conditions."