02/03/2004 12:00AM

Quick Action to go long

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OZONE PARK, N.Y. - After three starts and two wins in six-furlong races, Quick Action will be asked to stretch his speed in Saturday's $75,000 Whirlaway Stakes at Aqueduct.

Trained by D. Wayne Lukas, who won the 1 1/16-mile Whirlaway last year with Boston Park, Quick Action was a 7 3/4-length winner of the Fred "Cappy" Capossela Stakes on Jan. 19. Before the Capossela, Quick Action finished fourth in the Maria's Mon, an overnight stakes, on Dec. 26. In his career debut on Nov. 15, Quick Action won a maiden race by 4 1/4 lengths over Aqueduct's main track.

Peter Hutton, Lukas's New York assistant, said Quick Action, who is by sprint sire Carson City, gives some signals that he will handle a route.

"He's an easy horse to train in that he will relax early and then pick it up," Hutton said at his Belmont Park barn on Tuesday. "Even the other day in his bullet work, he went the first quarter in 25 and then exploded when he changed leads at the top of the stretch."

The clockers credited Quick Action with the fastest time for a half-mile in 47.67 seconds on Saturday over Belmont's training track. Hutton said Quick Action actually worked five furlongs from the five-eighths pole in 59.60, which easily would have been the fastest time at that distance.

Hutton, who has worked for Lukas for the past two years, said if Quick Action is limited in his ability to go a route, he won't necessarily be a disappointment.

"If he can't stretch out, I believe he will be something to be reckoned with, sprinting or going seven-eighths to a mile," Hutton said. "We need to stretch him to find out."

Quick Action is owned by Overbrook Farm, whose founder and principal owner, William T. Young, died on Jan. 12, seven days before Quick Action won the Capossela. Young's son, Bill Jr., and daughter, Lucy Young Boutin, are now the co-owners of Overbrook.

Acclimate, a two-time winner at the Whirlaway distance, was added to the prospective field on Tuesday. The others expected to run are Jaglander, Sinister G, Christian Anthony, Fine Strike, Little Matth Man, and possibly RB's Glitter.

Monday, trainer Jennifer Pedersen said Risky Trick might be entered in a Thursday allowance race instead of the Whirlaway. Since Risky Trick wasn't entered in the allowance race, it's possible he will be in the Whirlaway field.

Bossanova tops Hughes nominees

Nominations for three stakes to be run during the Presidents' Day holiday weekend at Aqueduct were released on Tuesday. The $75,000 Dearly Precious for 3-year-old fillies at six furlongs is the feature on Saturday, Feb. 14. The following day, New York-bred sprinters run in the $75,000 Hollie Hughes Handicap. On Presidents' Day, the $75,000 Rare Treat Handicap, a 1 1/8-mile race for fillies and mares, will be run.

Bossanova tops the list of 14 nominees to the Hollie Hughes. In his last start, Bossanova won the Grade 3 Fall Highweight at Aqueduct on Nov. 27. Bossanova is training in Florida.

Austin's Mom, the upset winner of the Grade 3 Affectionately on Jan. 17, is among 18 nominees to the Rare Treat.

Rodeo Licious, unraced since winning the Fashion Stakes on June 5 at Belmont, is among 21 nominated to the Dearly Precious.

Soft spot for Feather Boa

When Feather Boa ran on Jan. 22, it was the first time since July that she didn't go off as the favorite. Since Aug. 6, Feather Boa had been the favorite in six consecutive starts and she won two of those races. In her last race, she went off at nearly 5-1 and finished third, beaten a neck by Jester Rahab, who is headed to the Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie Handicap at Laurel Park on Feb. 14.

Thursday, Feather Boa figures to resume the role of favorite in the feature, a second-level allowance race at six furlongs for older fillies and mares. Feather Boa, the likely pacesetter from the rail, doesn't have much to beat in the six-horse field.