12/08/2003 12:00AM

Queens County may get whole different look


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The postponement by one week of the $100,000 Queens County Handicap could dramatically change the complexion of the Grade 3 race when it is run this Saturday at Aqueduct.

The Queens County was scheduled to be run last Saturday, but was postponed by the snowstorm that hit the East Coast and canceled both weekend cards at Aqueduct. The Queens County will be re-drawn on Thursday and is open to all original nominees.

Evening Attire, the 2001 Queens County winner, and Snake Mountain, the 2002 Queens County champ, are two original nominees who were not among the eight horses entered last week, but both could show up in the entries this week.

Evening Attire did not enter the Queens County because it would have come only eight days after he was disqualified by the stewards from first place in the Grade 2, $582,000 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs. But the extra week may be enough time for trainer Pat Kelly to wheel Evening Attire back.

"We're considering it," Kelly said Monday morning after watching Evening Attire gallop on the Belmont Park training track. "It's a possibility. I still got the same weight I had a week ago."

Kelly was referring to the 123 pounds Evening Attire was assigned by Aqueduct's racing secretary, Mike Lakow. Kelly wasn't happy about it when he wasn't running, and obviously he still isn't thrilled now. Evening Attire, who won the 2002 Jockey Club Gold Cup but who has not won a stakes this year, carried only 118 pounds in the Clark.

If Evening Attire skips the Queens County, he most likely will be pointed to the $100,000 Aqueduct Handicap on Jan .17.

Meanwhile, trainer Jimmy Jerkens had every intention of running Snake Mountain in the Queens County last weekend. But a day before entries, Jerkens discovered that Snake Mountain had a bruised right hind foot and he didn't enter. Jerkens said that Snake Mountain has appeared to recover quickly and could be entered if he breezes well this week.

"We're going to try and breeze him [Tuesday] or Wednesday," Jerkens said. "He's not sensitive in that spot anymore. He galloped good today and he came back good."

Snake Mountain was the assigned second highweight at 119 pounds.

Among the original nominees who definitely will run back is Country Be Gold, who on Monday drilled five furlongs in 1:00.03 over the training track. It was the fastest of seven moves at the distance.

Newfoundland, who was entered when Snake Mountain was declared, worked five furlongs in 1:01.64 Monday over the training track. His status for the race may depend on that of Evening Attire and Snake Mountain.

Peekskill to skip Queens County

Peekskill was one of the original entrants for the Queens County, but he most likely will not enter back. Trainer Frank Laboccetta also entered him in the $45,000 Peat Moss starter handicap for Sunday, which was scrapped because of the weather, but which was brought back for Wednesday's card.

Laboccetta, who claimed Peekskill for $35,000 in August, believes the starter handicap, run at 1 1/4 miles, is a better spot for Peekskill at this time.

"If he won this, maybe I'd come back for the Gallant Fox," Laboccetta said, referring to the $75,000 stakes run at 1 5/8 miles on Dec. 26. "I think he'll like the distance a lot."

Laboccetta said he was fearful that the extra week could bring horses such as Evening Attire and Snake Mountain into the Queens County mix.

Last Intention, who beat Toccet in the Hail Emperor Stakes on Nov. 15, was also entered in the Queens County and this starter handicap. He is the 124-pound starting highweight in the starter handicap, but he is part of a two-horse entry from Mark Shuman. With Aaron Gryder named on both, only Last Intention or Exclusive Run will be permitted to race.

Presidentialaffair to Gravesend

Presidentialaffair, who won the Stuyvesant Handicap at nine furlongs on Nov. 11, was another being considered for the Queens County Handicap. But a foot injury as well as the weekend snowstorm now has his connections pointing to the Grade 3, $100,000 Gravesend Handicap at six furlongs on Dec. 21.

Presidentialaffair, based at Philadelphia Park with trainer Martin Ciresa, returned to the track on Monday morning for a gallop. It was his first day of training since last Thursday. Ciresa said it would be too much to ask to run Presidentialaffair at 1 3/16 miles in the Queens County after having missed so much training.

"We lost a little time with him, so we're going to point for the Gravesend," Ciresa said Monday. "We know the horse can sprint."

Presidentialaffair, a son of Not for Love, has won three of the last four times he has run at six furlongs.

* Literary Light, expected to be among the favorites for Saturday's $75,000 Garland of Roses Handicap for fillies and mares, worked four furlongs in 48.48 seconds Monday over the training track. It was the fastest of 12 workouts at the distance.