11/19/2002 1:00AM

Protest pending on Admiral's DQ


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Trainer Del Carroll believes there was more than one injustice during Breeders' Cup weekend in Chicago.

On the day before the Breeders' Cup - and the now infamous pick six scandal - Carroll sent out Tap the Admiral in the $100,000 John Henry Handicap at Arlington Park. Though Tap the Admiral finished first, he was disqualified for alleged interference in the stretch with Riddlestown. The call was questioned by many observers who felt that Riddlestown initiated the contact.

Carroll and owner Stanley Etinger have filed an appeal with the Illinois Racing Board. Carroll said he has also asked Hall of Fame jockey Don Brumfield to look at the tape.

"If he feels kind of the same way we do - that we have a good shot - we'll go forward,'' Carroll said. "If he thinks it's an uphill climb, then maybe we'll have to rethink it. I know in this game it's about the money, but this time it's about right and wrong.''

Meanwhile, Carroll will send out Tap the Admiral in Saturday's Grade 2, $150,000 Red Smith Handicap at Aqueduct. It would be his first time in graded company and his first attempt at 1 3/8 miles, but Carroll feels it's worth a shot.

"He's making a believer out of me,'' Carroll said Tuesday outside his Belmont Park barn. "He's won twice at a mile and a quarter. It seems the longer distances he's run he's done well. He's telling us it's doable.''

Though Tap the Admiral is only 4 for 24 lifetime, he is 4 for 15 on turf. Two of those wins have come at Aqueduct, including a second-level allowance win over a yielding turf course in May.

On Tuesday, Tap the Admiral worked a slow half-mile in 53.25 seconds over Belmont's training track.

As the last turf stakes to be run in New York this year, the Red Smith will attract a full field. Man From Wicklow, who has not won a race in 15 months, is expected to be the starting highweight at 118 pounds. He is coming off solid third-place finishes in the Grade 1 Man o' War and Grade 2 Sky Classic Handicap.

Others expected to run include Whitmore's Conn, Dawn of the Condor, Classic Par, Craigsteel, Quiet Ruler, Regal Dynasty, Eltawaasul, Esperence, Macaw, Spectacular Light, and Fisher Pond.

Cigar Mile field takes shape

Horses coming out of three different Breeders' Cup races are expected to run in the Grade 1, $350,000 Cigar Mile on Nov. 30.

Crafty C.T., who finished third in the Sprint, is expected to head a field that will include Bonapaw, who finished 10th in the Sprint, Aldebaran, 11th in the Mile, and Harlan's Holiday, ninth in the Classic.

Others pointing to the race are 2000 Preakness winner Red Bullet, 2001 Wood Memorial winner Congaree, 2000 Remsen winner Windsor Castle, Multiple Choice, and Nothing Flat. Possible starters include Lord Ofthe Thunder, I Love Silver, and Resolve.

Bonapaw, known as an extremely fast workhorse, breezed an easy five-eighths in 1:01.29 under exercise rider George Abreu. Belmont clockers caught him in splits of 26 seconds, 37.60, and had him galloping out in 1:13.60.

"I want him to learn how to relax,'' trainer Norman Miller said. "We're going a mile.''

Though Bonapaw has excelled sprinting - he won the Grade 1 Vosburgh at seven furlongs - Miller believes the horse could be a better router because he wouldn't have to run as fast as he would in six-furlong races.

"I believe he's already proven he could carry his speed seven-eighths or a mile,'' Miller said. "Why abuse them in sprints with those fractions? If we keep going long and teach him to run two turns on grass we can get another two or three years out of him.''

While Bonapaw will be stretching out from six furlongs to a mile, Windsor Castle will be cutting back from nine furlongs. Windsor Castle is coming off a fast-closing second-place finish behind Snake Mountain in the Stuyvesant Handicap.

"I think it's going to set up good for him,'' trainer Frank Alexander said of the one-turn mile. "You'll get more speed than there would be going a route. I think it'll help him a lot.''

On Tuesday, Windsor Castle breezed five furlongs in 1:01.43.

* Trainer Bobby Frankel purchased recent maiden winner Summer Scene for owner Edmund Gann and may run her back in the Demoiselle Stakes at Aqueduct on Nov. 30. Summer Scene was owned by her breeder, G. Watts Humphrey Jr., and trained by Rusty Arnold.