02/16/2007 12:00AM

Rahys' Appeal going on the road again

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OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Rahys' Appeal, the talented New York-bred runner who has already made two cross-country trips this winter, appears to be headed on another road trip for her next start.

Trainer Tom Bush said Friday he plans to point Rahys' Appeal to the Grade 1, $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park on April 7. Rahys' Appeal comes off a third-place finish behind Sugar Shake in Saturday's Grade 1 Santa Maria at Santa Anita.

"The race gives us eight weeks," Bush said. "She needs a little space between races because she's traveled so much already. But she's doing fantastic. We're very lucky, she's just a fabulous traveler; she really handles it very well. She stays in her feed tub, and she's not stressed like a lot of fillies are."

Rahys' Appeal has had two productive trips to Southern California this winter. In January, she finished second to Citronnade in the Grade 2 San Gorgonio Handicap on the turf. On Feb. 10, she finished third in the Grade 1 Santa Maria. In that race, she was compromised by the fact that Sugar Shake was allowed to set dawdling fractions while on an uncontested lead. Rahys' Appeal raced third all the way around the track.

"I was watching the race with Dick Mandella, and he saw the half-mile go in [48.57 seconds] and he said, 'That's not good,' " Bush said.

Bush is still planning to run A True Pussycat, winner of two overnight stakes on this course, in the Grade 3, $175,000 Azeri Breeders' Cup at Oaklawn on March 10. However, Bush said he is having trouble making travel arrangements for the filly. She is also nominated to the $65,000 Rare Treat Handicap here on Feb. 24.

Six may go in Capossela

Aqueduct will be open Monday, President's Day, for a nine-race card topped by the $65,000 Fred "Cappy" Capossela Stakes for 3-year-old sprinters.

Bill Place, who beat two horses in last month's Jimmy Winkfield Stakes, heads the list of probables for the Capossela. A son of Master Bill, Bill Place has won his last two starts by open lengths, earning Beyer Speed Figures of 93 and 92, respectively.

Wollaston Bay, who chased Bill Place around the track in the Winkfield, is also expected back for the Capossela. Others considered possible for the race are Smash 'em Sammy, winner of the Fabersham Stakes for New York-breds on Jan. 12, Five Towns, Landofopportunity, and Wafi City. The latter two were part of coupled entries entered in a first-level allowance race on Saturday.

With Aqueduct open on Monday, the track will be dark next Tuesday and Wednesday.

Shuffling Maddnes wins feature

Shuffling Maddnes ($8.60) wore down Go Fernando Go inside the 70-yard marker to win the $66,509 Champagneforashley Stakes for New York breds by one length over a troubled-trip Carminooch on Friday. It was three-quarters of a length back to Go Fernando Go in third.

Naughty New Yorker finished fourth, followed by Ryan is Flying. Who What Win and Storm Boot Gold scratched

Under Eibar Coa, Shuffling Maddnes settled into fourth while Go Fernando Go set the pace, tracked by Ryan is Flying. Shuffling Maddnes rallied three wide around the turn and into the stretch and was able to run down Go Fernando Go. Shuffling Maddnes, a 4-year-old son of Real Quiet trained by Del Carroll, covered the mile and 70 yards in 1:41.55 and returned $8.60.

Carminooch was blocked for most of the stretch run and made a belated bid when able to find running room in deep stretch.

Alan Garcia, the rider of Go Fernando Go, lodged an objection against Shuffling Maddnes in the stretch, but the stewards disallowed it.

Long winter taking a toll

It appears the winter is taking its toll on the horse population here. Three horses in the last two days were vanned off the track with what are believed to be career-ending injuries.

On Thursday, Fair Maiden was vanned off after winning the third race. The 4-year-old daughter of Meadowlake was found to have a sesamoid fracture.

Two more horses were injured on Friday. Unleaded Bridel, a 4-year-old son of Keep Dreaming, failed to finish Friday's first race and was found to have a sesamoid fracture. Star of Trieste, the even-money favorite in a scratched-reduced field of four in the third race, was pulled up around the far turn with a suspensory injury.

* The inner track will be open through March 31, according to the racing office. The main track will open on April 4, meaning there will be only 19 days of racing on the main track.

o The new condition book lists a new bottom-level claiming price of $5,000, though both races - Feb. 28 and March 22 - are listed as substitute races.